For Medical Professionals
Feeling the stress of working as a medical professional?
Our work as medical professionals can be very rewarding but also very challenging at times. We are at risk of developing compassion fatigue and burnout.
A mindfulness practice can help us manage the stress of our work. Meditation may also help us to regain the sense of passion that originally led us to a career in medicine.
How can mindfulness help?
Mindfulness helps us to gain some distance from our chronic thinking patterns. We become an observer of our thoughts rather than being carried away with them. By doing so, we begin to see that much of our work stress and dissatisfaction is a product of our own thinking patterns – rather than the external situation. Of course there are very real problems in our professional lives and we deal with very difficult and demanding situations day in and day out. But, our own thoughts are the main source of our discontent and anxiety.
What is an example of how our thinking patterns cause much of our discontent and frustration?
In medicine our purpose is to help others. But many times, there is little that we can do – or what we do has limited effectiveness. Our desire for a certain outcome – for our efforts to make a difference – can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and frustration.
By practicing mindfulness and keeping our attention in the present moment when we work with patients and colleagues, we discover the myriad large and small ways that what we do makes a difference in people’s lives. We see that our work is very meaningful and rewarding – even if we don’t always achieve the desired outcome for particular disease states.
Of course we try to help patients achieve the best outcome possible from treatment. But we find that our sense of joy and satisfaction from our work is found in the reality of each moment – not in some future outcome.
How do I start to practice mindfulness?
You can start a mindfulness practice today.
Watch Dr. Marchand’s free mindfulness instruction video.
Sign up for Dr. Marchand’s Newsletter and Blog and download a free guided meditation audio.
Start your mindfulness practice by doing five to ten minutes of sitting meditation each day. Here are some tips to get you started.
How do I keep my mindfulness practice going?
It is important to try to practice mindfulness mediation every day. As medical professionals, we are all busy, so it is easy to forget or not find the time. One way to keep the practice going is to have a group to practice with. There may be meditation groups in your local area that you can practice with. Please also join our online community to support your practice. [Newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn].. Dr. Marchand provides regular meditation tips and hosts discussions to help you continue and deepen your practice.