Unhappy as a Doctor: How to Gain New Confidence

Do you love your medical profession? Do you look forward to your patients and colleagues while you drive to work? Since you are reading this article, I am not assuming that. But then they should follow him to the end. It is worth it.

Dr. Eva Dempewolf, doctor and executive coach, gives you a new hope when you are unhappy as a doctor. It shows you ways in which you can develop new personal and professional perspectives. You will also find out in this helpful blog post which decisive role the right doctor’s position can play in this.

Unhappy as a doctor – like so many

“I hate my job as a doctor. I don’t want to be a doctor anymore.” Do you know thoughts like these? You’re in good company there. In recent years, dissatisfaction among US doctors has increased. This is proven by new studies such as the “MB Monitor 2021” (one of the statistical report from Statista). The medical overload, unpaid overtime, the high level of stress in the hospital, a poor work-life balance or the excessive administrative effort – the causes are diverse. Resident doctors are often faced with burnout.

Doctors coach Dempewolf, from Medicmind Australia, also notices the effects of medical dissatisfaction in his own practice on a daily basis: “They often have the feeling that they can no longer live up to their actual calling as a doctor because – as many experience it – the provider or the management / Administration looks more at numbers than at people”. Doctors are increasingly getting into a conflict of interest for which they have not been trained. “It happens again and again, for example, that important operations are postponed in favor of elective interventions because they bring more money.”

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Although the proportion of those who are unhappy as employed doctors clearly predominates, resentment is also increasing among general practitioners. There “the situation is somewhat different, but they too are suffering from the bureaucracy that is taking up more and more space, which is associated with additional expenditure of time, energy and, of course, costs”, explains Dr. Dempewolf; “And Corona made things worse.”

Paths to the happiness of a doctor

If, as a doctor, you are unhappy at your workplace, you should be clear about what exactly is bothering you. According to doctor coach Dempewolf, it is helpful to first differentiate: “Can you personally change something in the situation or not”? Bullying among doctors is unfortunately widespread in hospitals as well as in health care in general. For example, you are tormented by a sexist senior physician colleague; or do you have the impression that your chief physician has given you specific information? ” Then we formulate a realistic (!) Goal and then develop ideas and steps together to get closer to it, ” she describes the next stage. “Often it is about communication issues or conflicts for which a good and constructive solution can often be found in the context of coaching.”

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In turn, you have no control over some situations or circumstances. It is often the fear of assuming responsibility that prevents some from working as a doctor. For example, the dying of your patients in palliative medicine is overwhelming for you; or do you despair at the line of people in your emergency room? Here, too, Dr. Dempewolf for an honest reflection: “How important is the topic that burdens me, and to what extent does it depend on whether I experience my work as satisfactory”? It is true that you cannot / hardly influence the circumstances mentioned per se; “What we can always change, however, is our attitude towards it. Joint reflection work brings clarity, which in turn, experience has shown, brings a great deal of relief. Of course, one result can also be that the employer or the specialist area actually does not suit the doctor.”

Last rescue new doctor’s position?

A change of subject or employer can be the solution. But you shouldn’t give up too quickly. “Where you are now, you know the problems, barriers and obstacles. Clinics that are looking for new employees promise a lot. How the working conditions are then more real will only become apparent later? Therefore, it is important to carefully weigh up and draw up a list of priorities, what the new job absolutely has to fulfill (and what you can check in advance), what would be a nice additional package and what you might be willing to do without”, says Dempewolf to consider this statement.

It is important to choose the clinic or the specialty consciously and precisely. “A ‘clinic hopping’, which is sometimes the result of hasty job changes, not only does not look good on the résumé, it also costs time, energy and nerves”, emphasizes Dr. Dempewolf. In addition, there is a risk that what has already been experienced begins again.

Support for unhappy doctors

You are not alone on your way, you can get active support: “There is of course a wide range of coaching and supervision, whereby the costs – especially for doctors in management positions – are often borne by the clinic. More and more renowned establishments are also setting up a pool of coaches and supervisors from which the doctors can choose someone who suits them,” says doctor coach Dempewolf, describing the positive development.

If you need a little more distance from your employer, you can also try working groups in the form of so-called “Balint groups”. These working groups usually consist of six to twelve doctors who meet under professional moderation. Miss Dr. Dempewolf has had good experiences with this format: “The exchange with colleagues (also from other clinics or medical fields of work) is always felt to be helpful and empowering.”

Always happy with the right employer

You don’t have to give up the medical profession right away. There are many perspectives. A crucial part – your own attitude – is in your own hands; And in your work environment, you have many options to become happy again as a doctor: whether MVZ, practice or alternative professional fields such as the pharmaceutical industry, medical technology or health insurance – as a doctor you can find a new home outside of the hospital and under better working conditions. “I am convinced that every doctor can find a place where they feel they are in the right place,” says medical coach Dempewolf with certainty.



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