“In my work with physicians and physician leaders in academic medicine, I learned that physicians are highly self-reflective and aware of the pressures they face; however, they are frequently the last to ask for help, and the first to deprioritize their own self-care. This has led to high suicide rates in the overall physician population.
For coaches partnering with physicians on wellness, leading with mindfulness first could cause an adverse reaction. A colleague and I held a workshop on physician wellness and began the session with mindfulness. Several left the room, and a few others spoke up, indicating that what they needed was not mindfulness, but solutions for inefficient processes and increased demands from their medical coding departments. We did not make that mistake again!
These professionals are overwhelmed; they are just trying to get through the day and meet their goals. Oh, and take care of their patients. Mindfulness can be seen as “another thing to do” in an already packed schedule or can make physicians feel angry or “guilty” for not already trying something that seems so simple and cause them to close down to exploring other solutions.”
Cory Colton is an executive coach.
He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, “When coaching physicians with wellness, don’t lead with mindfulness.”
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