As the month of August draws to a close, most of us are having to face the end of summer - for some, that means the end of vacations and the end of summer holidays for school aged-children. In our house, it also means the end of a summer filled with visitors from away and the end of an era following the recent death of a loved one.
Endings aren't always sad or dreaded, and in fact, can sometimes make way for new beginnings. The end of medical training, the end of a soul-sucking job, the end of a toxic relationship can all serve as pivot points for renewal. In cases such as these, starting over can be the best type of ending.
In a more global sense, part of our work is to see an end to physician burnout, secondary to overwhelming work stress, and physician suicide. Although the physician health and wellness space involves much more, these are two of the most pressing issues that seem to be getting worse, not better.
Are we just more aware now, hence the impression of a worsening scenario? Possibly, however, no matter which way you look at it, burnout is impacting the medical community in a significant and profound way. We're losing physicians both literally and figuratively, and neither is acceptable.
As the late Stephen Covey said as one of his Habits of Highly Effective People - "begin with the end in mind". Sometimes the best way to know where we're going is to know where we want to end up.
Knowing this, let's work together to create an end vision of physician well-being. In doing so, we should be better able to formulate a roadmap to help us get there once and for all.