September 8, 2021

Letter from the Newsletter Editor and Secretary

ACEP scientific assembly 2021 will begin Monday October 25 to October 28th. It will be held at the Boston Convention Center, in Boston Massachusetts. We are working closely with the convention center and hotels to create a Covid-19 Safety plan. The link to register for the conference and hotel is on the ACEP website at https://www.acep.org/sa/. We look forward to your participation.

Physician Burnout
Physician burnout continues to be an issue especially in emergency Medicine. According to an article from Medicine: August 7,2020 - Volume 99 – issue 32: This meta-analysis demonstrates a high level of burnout prevalent in EM physicians that approximately 40% experience high levels of EE and depersonalization. Our findings also suggest that EM physicians are more susceptible to burnout compared with physicians in other departments and other medical staffs in EM. More attention should be paid to mental status of EM physicians and further investigation concerning how to reduce burnout would be beneficial for EM physicians.

It is important to recognize emotional signs, behavioral signs, physical signs, and symptoms of burnout. Many physicians report being mentally exhausted with the increase ER demand. Other common reasons for burnout include: constant fear of medical malpractice and mounting “paperwork” to meet numerous documentation requirements.

To avoid physician burnout, make sure that you are safeguarding your mental wellbeing. Make sure that you increase your self-awareness of being burned out. Make sure that you release stress by seeking social support. It is normal to connect with a loved one and allow yourself to vent your emotions. Make sure to connect with other medical providers and discuss how they are addressing this issue. Make sure to introduce work-life balance by practicing self-care daily. Make sure to make time for your hobby, weekly massage or do the things that make you happy. Other suggestions include verbalizing your concerns and making a new arrangements. The hours you worked as a resident may not be the same energy 20 years later. It makes total sense to verbalize your concerns and modify accordingly.

Top 10 mistakes that stop you from creating success

Last year for the yearly ACEP competition, I presented 10 top mistakes that stop you from creating success. This is the abbreviated version.

Mistake #1: You Don’t Have A Strong Enough ‘Why’

Often, many of us used our why to help get us to where we are now. The problem could be that our “why” is not strong enough to help us get through our new obstacles.

Mistake #2: You Have A Fear of Failure

As an ED physician, we do not fear much. Sometimes, the fear of failure can hold many of us back. It is important that you conquer your fear by getting “more data” and make sure you create a team that can help you complement your weaknesses.

Mistake #3: You Do Not Believe In Yourself

We are excellent ED physicians, but sometimes we do not believe in ourselves. We are intelligent individuals. I sincerely believe we can do anything that we put our minds. It is important to believe in yourself but do not be arrogant. Learning is a humbling experience.

Mistake #4: You Get Distracted Easily

Make sure that each day you take some time away from social media, your cellphone, emails, and your push notifications on your phone. Make sure that you set time aside to concentrate and work on your tasks at hand.

Mistake #5: You Are Lacking Goals

I know this sounds crazy; you would not be an ED doctor if you did not have goals. My argument is that you don’t have short, middle, or long-term goals. Some physicians feel they have “made it” and do not have the same drive that they had years ago.

Mistake #6: You Don’t Like Change

Most individuals do not like change and some individuals will stay in unhealthy environments because they do not want to accept any changes. My advice is to welcome change and do not let it hold you back from your goals.

Mistake #7: Thinking Negatively

I love this one! We are taught to think negatively! This is why we are great ED doctors. We always think about what the worst-case scenario is. It is important to recognize that this can hold us back from our goals. Make sure to flip your negativity to thinking positive. Believe it or not most successful companies do better when their leaders are positive leaders compared to other leaders.

Mistake #8: Not Surrounding Yourself with Ambitious People

Make sure to have a mentor that can help you see the bigger picture. Make sure to surround yourself with individuals that are more successful than you. Look up the 100-meter times when Bolt made the world record. The top runners in that race also had personal fastest times for the 100 yet did not win. How did this happen? Everyone was trying to beat bolt in this race and ended up beating their own personal best 100-meter time!

Mistake #9: Being Risk Averse

It is ok to be risk averse, but if it is holding you back then you need to make sure that you are in fact taking calculated chances. If you do not feel comfortable making that decision, make sure you are having the experts in the field helping you with this decision.

Mistake #10: Not Getting Help

As an ED physician it is totally ok to ask for help. We do it daily in the ED, when we are asking the consultants to come down and help us with a patient. Do not be prideful if you need help with a goal. It is ok to ask for help. Make sure that you do get help and use all your resources.

 

Harvey Castro MD, FACEP
ED Board Certified Physician. Author of Success Reinvention