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Doctor And Personal Time Management

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Jennifer Allen, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. Jennifer Allen

    Jennifer Allen Young Member

    Aug 19, 2019
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    Doctors And Personal Time Management
    Time management is a very essential skill set for all physicians. The importance of time management is not always emphasized in undergraduate or even graduate medical education curricula, which often results in the development of poor time-management practices early in training. Improving time-management practices for doctors may lead to decreased stress, increased productivity, and improved general well-being for the physicians.

    The doctor’s duty to the patient is a unique professional responsibility that regularly challenges their time management. The duty of patient care and the unpredictability of work involved due to interruption, unplanned patient-care-management changes, emotional and physical fatigue, and also erratic schedules or work duties, may not be controllable or changeable.

    As the rates of physician burnout rise, teaching effective time-management skills has also become a priority. A recent report surveying about 15,000 physicians found that from 2013 to 2017, the burnout rates had risen in every specialty. The top two contributors to this burnout were “too many bureaucratic tasks” and “spending too many hours working”. These two causes contain elements that relate to time management, therefore, as health care institutions make moves to address systems issues that contribute to burnout, medical education must also develop training strategies that will help improve time-management skills. Literature also supports the idea that improving individual schedule control correlates positively with career satisfaction for a physician. It has also been shown that limiting clinical hours and controlling lifestyle correlate with increased career satisfaction for physicians. Furthermore, increased career satisfaction is also associated with decreased burnout for physicians.

    When physicians are taught time-management skills, it helps to better prepare resident and junior faculty physicians to enter the workforce. A review of the medical literature found that the strategies for improving physician time management were lacking; examples were offered about time-management techniques that might be most appropriate for physicians. Undergraduate and graduate medical education curricula do not really incorporate physician time-management skills. In fact, medical education tends to focus solely on mastery of knowledge and skill that trainees now neglect individual time allocation and task prioritization in order to achieve appropriate professional mastery Failure to routinely identify individual limits with respect to allocation of time and energy for doctors may develop poor time-management habits that ultimately lead to increased stress and overall decreased productivity.


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