Archimedes said: “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”

As I like to say: “Knowledge is power, and also leverage.” So, let’s empower ourselves about concepts and rules that we work within, and then leverage that information to reach our professional and personal goals. If we know the rules of the game that we find ourselves playing, then we can optimize these variables to work to our advantage.

With that said, I’ve decided to do multiple, 2-part series that touch on the basics of being a PA, focusing more on the external forces that affect us, much of which will also apply to other clinicians and medical professionals. I will mostly be referencing the details and logistics as they apply to PAs, but encourage others to take the time to learn the definitions, rules and restrictions that apply to them. Much of which I discuss will be universally applicable for clinicians (such as definitions of CME categories), but again, I encourage you verify that the information I provide holds up to your regulatory bodies and employers.

Before you begin to take this informal continuing-education journey with me, you need to do some self-reflection and ask yourself a few questions. What I’m hoping is that the answers to these questions will serve as the beacon to keep you as “on course” to meet your goals and have the most fulfilling existence that you can. Perhaps your answers will be the anchor you need when times get tough, and as we take incremental steps towards building your best life, you will keep your eyes on the prize and even be “pandemic proof” in the future.

Your answers may change over time, but will serve as the foundation from which you build your professional and personal lives around:

  1. What are 5 things you would do more of if you had ZERO obligations and ENDLESS resources to do them (eg. travel around South America, write a blog, go back to school, spend more time with your family, etc.)?
  2. What is the biggest thing you are looking to accomplish professionally in 2021 (eg. get a raise, improve work/life balance, increase efficiency on EMR, drop back to part-time, etc.)?
  3. What is the biggest thing you are looking to accomplish personally in 2021 (eg. save more $$$, play your guitar more, spend more time with family/friends, learn how to mountain bike, etc.)?
  4. What 5 things bring you the most joy (eg. travel, reading, sipping your morning coffee, walking your dog, meditation, etc.)?

The plan is that, even if you right now fail to connect how learning about and optimizing your continuing medical education (CME) resources (for example) can be leveraged to meet your goals, I will guide you along the journey. I will help you find the learning opportunities to improve your professional life, which will not only find more joy in your work and decrease burnout, but will bleed over to your personal life and keep you on track to be the best version of yourself.

Here are some topics that I see as valuable, of which I anticipate deconstructing for optimal understanding and for future leveraging, but I encourage you, my readers, to let me know what other topics you would like to read about in the future:

  1. Continuing Medical Education (CME — time off and $$$)
  2. Relative Value Units (RVU)
  3. Burnout
  4. Stages of Change
  5. Contract/Employment Agreements
  6. Becoming Indispensable
  7. 401k/403b Optimization
  8. Student Loan Repayment Options
  9. Proficiency/Efficiency Tools
  10. Negotiating for a Raise

Let me hear from you and what variables that you think would feel empowering to understand better in order to leverage for yourself.


INSTAGRAM: efficientclinician

TWITTER: @E_clinician

DISCLAIMERS: 1) The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer. 2) There are no conflicts of interest to report. 3) I don’t know what I don’t know, so feel free to message me if you don’t agree with something that you read.

KEYWORDS: #burnout #medicine #physicianassistant #nursepractitioner #doctor #barriers #wellness #efficiency #proficiency #control #worklifebalance #happinessatwork #carpediem #clinician #stress #covid #pandemic #sabbatical #timeoff #lifehacks #leverage

Published by Shayne Foley

I have dedicated myself to a lifelong pursuit of health and wellness, both personally and professionally, over the last 25 years. My passions, interests and experiences have led me to a multitude of health and wellness disciplines, resulting in an accumulation of over 40,000 hours of experience. My educational degrees include: Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Exercise Science, Master’s Degree in Biomechanics and a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies. In addition to my educational accomplishments, the culmination of my career experiences outside of the classroom have developed my passion for coaching and teaching. Some of these experiences include: Performance coaching for elite athletes and business professionals (10+ years), teaching at multiple universities (6+ years) and working as a Physician Assistant (10 years). These academic, pedagogical and practical experiences have shaped, and continue to shape, my philosophies, theories and solutions related to health and wellness. I am thrilled and humbled to now be bringing all of my acquired knowledge, holistic approach and pragmatic methods into what I see as my most important and impassioned work to date: Coaching healthcare professionals to reach their personal and professional goals. I grew up in Western Massachusetts, and have spent the majority of my life living throughout New England. I currently reside in Vermont, where the environment and culture organically foster an optimal work-life balance. I live joyfully with my lovely wife and rescue dog. My other interests include outdoor recreation, lifestyle design, financial independence, travel and supporting my local community. I’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to contact me, you can do so via the following ways:

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