We all know that the medical profession is a level of commitment that is unparalleled in many other professions. With long working hours and the ubiquitous notion that doctors are their job, it’s no wonder that part-time schedules are becoming increasingly common and accepted in medicine.
Much of the reasons I turned to passive income was to allow myself to eventually cut down my hours so that I can spend more time with my family and more time doing things outside of medicine that are important to me.
Making medicine a hobby was a real goal. What is the difference between a hobby and a job? A hobby is often something you do because you are passionate about it and bring joy into your life. A job is something you do because you want to make an income by trading the time and effort.
Part time for doctors is not necessarily part time for the rest of the world
For the average doctor, the standard work week of 40 hours is far from standard. A doctor’s schedule can be brutal. the AMA Insurance 2014 survey titled “Work / Life Profiles of Today’s Doctor” showed that 20% of doctors aged 40-69 worked 61-80 hours a week. Two-thirds of doctors in this age group said they worked 40-60 hours a week.
This tells us that the majority of doctors in almost all other professions work at least 1.5 – 2x a full working week.
For doctors, part-time work does not mean that they only work 20 hours a week. Often it simply means reducing to a “normal” work week. It could just mean not going beyond what the average person is willing to tolerate.
Happier Doctors are better doctors
When people are happy, they are able to be kinder and more empathetic in both professional and personal life.
This doesn’t just apply to doctors. Workers are generally more productive and better at their jobs when they are happy and satisfied. A Oxford Study 2019 showed that satisfied employees are up to 13% more productive than their less satisfied colleagues.
But work is about more than just productivity. Negativity is contagious. It’s a fact. When you’re unhappy, it’s harder to put on a good face, engage in active listening, and open communication, both of which are critical to a positive doctor-patient relationship.
When you are feeling less than your best, physically or mentally, it is hard to do your best every day at work.
Since our patients and staff rely on us to play our A-Game every day, our happiness is more important than ourselves and the people who are important to us. It is also important for everyone we come into contact with in our professional life.
But how do we find happiness? Is part time happiness?
Work-life balance is important
Today, the younger generation attaches increasing importance to the compatibility of work and private life. People don’t just want to go to work, pay the bills and try to save enough money so they don’t have to go to work when they retire. You want to live life now. YOLO, am I right? But seriously, countless studies show that the younger generations more emphasis on work-life balance than other factors when it comes to employment.
I’ve heard many of my “more seasoned colleagues” say, “People today just don’t want to work hard.” I don’t think it’s about not wanting to work hard or having the ability to work hard. To get to this point, we all know that it took an extraordinary amount of time and effort.
It’s just that medicine has changed … we’ve gone from being doctors who practice with a certain amount of autonomy and in the best interests of the patient to being more simple providers in a big machine following protocols, almost more like technicians .
In medicine, especially in the early years with the requirements of specialist training and internships, it is often difficult to find a balance. One of the easiest ways to find some balance when working in a position that traditionally involves long hours is to convert some of those hours back into hours of life, and this is where a part-time schedule comes in.
Burnout at the doctor’s is real
The pandemic has brought to light many things about society as a whole, and health care worker burnout is one of them, although it is nothing new. It’s an officially diagnosable condition these days, and research shows that doctors do Burnout is 15 times more likely than other workers. And it’s no wonder. It’s a high stress job.
Burnout affects your professional life, your family life, and everything in between, and for many doctors, having a part-time schedule is key to recovering from or avoiding burnout at all.
Would working less make you happier?
If it were, you might be looking for a way to make the work less of a reality. Keep in mind that part-time in medicine doesn’t necessarily mean the 20-hour work week that is a part-time schedule for the rest of the workforce. It could mean cutting down to normal 8-hour workdays, including paperwork. It can mean reducing your on-call time.
Of course, working part-time also has its downsides: less money, the stigmas that come with less than a full workload, less time to practice and learn. All of these things are the downsides that must also be carefully considered.
So are part-time doctors better doctors? There really isn’t a definitive answer to this question and the answer varies from doctor to doctor.
I think there are a few important questions to consider:
- Are you struggling with your current work-life balance?
- Would you reduce your working hours to take something off your shoulders and make you less stressed?
- Would you be happier with more free time?
- To do she Do you think that working part-time could make you a better doctor?
- Can you afford it
Give you the choice
Many of us would like to have a choice, but feel financially tied to our jobs. It supports our lifestyle and gives our families security.
But how would you optimally spend your time if finances didn’t come into play?
If it’s a little different than what you’re doing now, find ways to create multiple sources of income outside of medicine so you can choose what your days are like. For some real estate investing, or for others, it could be something entrepreneurial.
Whatever it is, find a way to get started so that you can ultimately decide if part-time is better for you, your family, and your patients.