Clinicians that can get themselves to be in “The Good Place” are those that are firing on all cylinders. They have high patient satisfaction scores, have cultivated an optimal work/life balance, feel that they are compensated well, are valued by their employer and are seen as a productive and integral part of the team. But, is this even attainable, or in reality, is “The Good Place” a mythical state that no clinician can reach?

I say “attainable“, but with intention and attention. I think that in order to find yourself in “The Good Place“, you must first create boundaries that you are not willing to cross, and these will help define for you when you’ve reached the point where what you are doing to rejuvenate and recover are less than the efforts that you are putting in…this is a one-way ticket to burnout, and that is definitely not “The Good Place“.

Providers in “The Good Place” may make it all look easy, mostly because they have the knowledge, experience and systems in place to be productive, personable and happy. I think you know these people when you see them, but they are rare. All too often, trying to keep 3 parties (clinician, employer + patient) happy can feel burdensome, and can prove to be like multitasking, wherein all entities suffer from the lack of focus.

Nonetheless, if you don’t find yourself in “The Good Place” currently, you can get there within a few months, or even within a few weeks. What it takes is reflecting on where you are, where it is you are wanting to get to, formulating a plan, and taking baby steps in the right direction. I really think that James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, is a critical read for anyone looking to make some positive change. So, over the course of the next few months, I’ll attempt to use that book as the basis to write some posts that give pragmatic advice on how to get to “The Good Place“, and stay there for a prosperous career. For now, here are some great quotes to meditate on from Mr. Clear:

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

“You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.”

“When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.”

“Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.”

“Be the designer of your world and not merely the consumer of it.”

“You don’t have to be the victim of your environment. You can also be the architect of it.”

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 #covid19 #pandemic #lifehacks #leverage #RVUs #charting #physician #billing #coding #jamesclear #atomichabits #habits #worklife #worklifebalance

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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