Creative Outlets as Burnout Prevention

Burnout is rampant in the medical community, and we’re dedicated to helping physicians find tactics for preventing and treating burnout. Devoting time to a creative outlet that you are passionate about can go a long way in this regard. In this article, we’re going to talk about how to use creative outlets as a burnout prevention tool.


Creative Outlets

We work long hours, and our jobs are demanding and high-stress. Interestingly, the hours, demands and stress are only part of the equation that contributes to burnout. The perceived loss of creativity is a big factor. Devoting time to a creative outlet or passion projects outside of work can have a marked effect on your overall wellbeing and performance at work.

Finding Your Creative Outlet

What’s your creative outlet? I’d encourage you to make sure that you carve out time to devote to this outlet on a regular basis. If you don’t have an established creative outlet, it’s never too late to start something new! The only rule is that you enjoy the creative process. Creativity can’t be forced. Creativity requires experimentation and patience. If your passion grows with the experiments, you are on a great track. If you find the opposite, move on to something else.

Whether you find joy in playing an instrument, writing, cooking, or something else – pursuing creative endeavors is a great way to keep burnout at bay and reinvigorate your passion for medicine.

Helping Surgeons Create Sustainable Practices

At SurgeonMasters, our ultimate goal is to help surgeons create practices that are sustainable and lifestyle-friendly. We are a collective of like-minded surgeons offering educational resources (articles, podcasts, webinars, and local meetups) to help physicians decrease burnout and boost resilience. Contact us at today to learn more about our wellness and burnout prevention educational offerings.



I Can Fly And Miguel Is Teaching Me

Miguel was part of a team that broke the world record in skydiving sequential. 111 people, 3 points at skydive Chicago. Thank you Miguel for permission to use this photo.

Miguel was part of a team that broke the world record in skydiving sequential. 111 people, 3 points at skydive Chicago. Thank you Miguel for permission to use this photo.

How Does Peer Mentoring Work?

Peer Mentoring. We all do it. However, we don’t always notice that we’re doing it. That lack of awareness makes it less effective. When we’re aware of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, we can be much more effective. I think I can explain this best by way of an example.

Taking Flight

I already know how to fly. For me, this involves buying a ticket, showing up, and having a highly trained individual (a pilot) do it for me. My goal is to get to my destination safely and efficiently.

As a kid, learning to fly didn’t work out so well. I had unrealistic expectations, no equipment, and inadequate training & practice. I would flap my arms as hard as I could and jump from a tree, but I always ended up crash landing.

However, I have a surgeon friend (Miguel) that knows several ways to fly. While he might describe it otherwise, from my perspective Miguel is an expert. Miguel has clocked over 800 hours as a private pilot. He’s also jumped out of an airplane over 2400 times.

You’re probably thinking he must be crazy. My thought was “How cool!” While one of those used to be on my bucket list, my maturity has allowed me to understand that my knees, back, and neck are in no condition to tolerate that experience. Rather, my “how cool” thought comes from how much I enjoy learning about other surgeons’ fitness, mindfulness, or recharge activities. Miguel has been able to create longevity in his career by maintaining and expanding his skills inside and outside of the operating room.

Peer Mentoring

So how does this apply to peer mentoring?

Peer mentoring involves helping your peers be more aware. After talking with Miguel just once at length, he responded in an email:

“I have to thank you for your encouragement and your website. If your goal is to change surgeons’ lives, man I tell you,.. you are doing it!!”

Peer mentoring is not one-sided. Miguel is also mentoring me. His knowledge in areas that require hours and hours of training, significant planning, teamwork, checklists, and where the consequence of shortcuts can be catastrophic, is extremely valuable to me. It raises my awareness both inside and outside of the operating room.


SurgeonMasters creates peer-mentoring opportunities through Meetups, Webinars, Web-Conferences and more. Contact us to see what opportunities best fit your time, energy and budget. SurgeonMasters is a continuing medical education company focused on delivering medical education, strategies and techniques overlooked or underemphasized in traditional medical training that improve practice performance, surgeon wellness and ultimately, patient outcomes.