Three years ago, I declared my independence from burnout. Monday is when our country celebrates the Declaration of Independence authored by Thomas Jefferson amongst his fellow authors and signed by 56 delegates. I have always felt the Fourth of July is a very important holiday. However, this year I have a even greater perspective, because my family just returned from a trip to Washington DC, Mt. Vernon, Williamsburg, Yorktown and Monticello.
Each of us, spanning from ages 53 to 8, was learning about our history from a different perspective. What was your perspective? I was reminded of adversity, resilience, and an abundance of other characteristics as we toured many of the historically rich monuments and museums. I read various profound quotes from our nation's founding fathers and progressive leaders over the week. I was able to reflect on so many things over the course of our 9 day trip with my wife and kids, and extended family, as I have not taken so much time off since our honeymoon over 15 years ago. On our trip I was also "too busy" with the family, that I was unable to do much of any "real work." A few projects were delayed, but no one was harmed, and I am still a Highly Successful Surgeon!
When our founding fathers wrote the declaration of independence and later the constitution, they were taking on very complex problems. They created a system that allowed for progress and change, just as I was doing 3 years ago. They also created key foundation principles that allowed a framework for this change. The 8 PRACTICEs of Highly Successful Surgeons has been the foundation principles of my independence from burnout.
A Work in Progress
My life and career is still a work in progress. I still experience stress and frustrations. There are still areas where I seek much more control, especially where my experience and training have given me the perspective of what is best for my patients. However, I now have many more tools to manage the stress and frustration, to increase my control, to provide hope and care to others, and to make a major positive impact on other people's lives.
"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, ...
I choose to accept the label of revolutionary? When tyranny, regulation and a system treats doctors as second class citizens to serve only others, they forget that we are humans too. We can not be available 24/7, as we too must be available to our families and ourselves. I continue to speak up against the tyranny and against the parts of the system that I believe make things worse for all. I am not always right, but our goals should still be based upon enhanced patient experience, better health, lower cost, AND improved clinician experience!
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
I hope you will join me as "one people" / Surgeons that will declare our independence!
What will be your founding principles to Life, Liberty and your pursuit of Happiness?