“Delegate some of your responsibilities to others,” Dr. Ossoff said. “This will create time in our schedule and allow others to grow professionally and operationally. This also assists in succession planning by helping others to learn how to perform the job when you’re gone. Who knows? They may actually do better.”
Explore this issue:February 2012
Dr. Ossoff said that although otolaryngology is “a wonderful profession that brings us tremendous personal gratification,” there has to be flexibility.
“Creating a balance between work and life requires you to develop a flexibility to juggle the demands of work [and] personal and family life so that we can keep the ball in the air and not drop one or the other,” he said. “No one promises us tomorrow. Please make sure you take the time to smell the flowers, enjoy the sunrise and the sunset and the beauty in between. And appreciate what we have been given.”
Greg Wiet, MD, an associate professor of otolaryngology and biomedical informatics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine who practices at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, said not finding the right balance can lead to, “very subtly, over time, dissatisfaction with your career and a lack of motivation and (low) morale.”
Relying on colleagues is an important part of trying to find that balance, he said.
“There’s not a time off where someone’s not going to be sick or someone’s not going to need a physician—I mean, that happens 24/7,” he said. “So the key is trying to arrange a balance in your life with coverage with other people instead of all of this ‘I can do it all myself’ attitude.”
Donald Annino, Jr., MD, DMD, an assistant professor of surgery in the division of otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School who practices at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said he is somewhat lucky in that his wife is an academic otolaryngologist at the same place, making it easier to manage schedules so that they can spend time with their children and each other.
“If you don’t do that, your home life suffers probably even more so than your professional life,” he said. “But they’re both interconnected, and if you’re not happy in one you won’t be happy in the other.”