What Marie Kondo Can Teach Us About Physician Burnout

Check this out. What you will see is a piece that is interesting at two different levels. First, it is interesting because it is written by a doctor who specializes in consulting with other physicians on how to build a happy/non-burned out life. We have seen this kind of consultancy offered before. There is probably meaning to be found in the fact that these kinds of side gigs seem to be increasing in number.

Second, I find it interesting because Dr. Bayley draws a parallel between his own area of interest and the work of Marie Kondo, a noted “tidiness” expert. How? Marie tells us that we can take a significant step toward happiness by controlling our “stuff,” rather than letting our “stuff” control us. More specifically, she tells us to jettison our possessions that don’t bring us joy, and to organize what is left so that we will be able to enjoy those items optimally. Bayley tells physicians that they should do the same things with the activities in their lives.

Bottom Line. While at first blush all of this makes sense, I am guessing that for the average physician, jettisoning the activities that don’t provide them with joy is easier said than done. Most of what physicians tell me they don’t like about their practice of medicine are activities that they just flat out need to do. Demanded by their patients, required by their employers and insurance companies, etc.

What then???

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