Working part time is becoming a choice for many physicians. Doctors who have time constraints, numerous responsibilities or are raising kids in a two-career family may opt for part time work as a way to maintain work-life balance or be more available for family time.
Working part time is becoming a choice for many physicians. Doctors who have time constraints, numerous responsibilities or are raising kids in a two-career family may opt for part time work as a way to maintain work-life balance or be more available for family time. There are a number of advantages of part time work that you need to consider before you write it off as an option.
Building Lifelong Relationships
When you spend most of your waking hours working, you have few hours left to take care of the necessities in life, such as paying bills, getting you car fixed, and so forth. This time constraint can potentially make miss out on building close, deep relationships with your spouse, your kids, and your friends. Strong connections last long after retirement, and take time and attention. When you work for hours on end, the sheer lack of time can prohibit you from sharing the personal human moments with others that are the foundation of lifelong loyalty and trust.
Getting Involved in Your Community
Becoming a part of your community by volunteering, joining clubs, participating in political action and attending neighborhood events is what makes you feel that your community is your ‘home’. It can be almost impossible to find the time and energy to be a real part of your community if you spend all of your time divided between work and taking care of life’s necessities.
More Time for Self Care, Exercise, Healthy Eating
The more you work, the less time you have for a self care regimen that includes exercise, eating right, spirituality, sleep, and relaxation. Generally, healthy eating is not fast or convenient. Exercise takes time. Meditation and spiritual practice requires attention. And sleep requires time and a tranquil mind. Working ‘all the time’ definitely interferes with these necessary parts of life. Over the years, long hours can take a toll, ultimately affecting your health.
Savings on Services
Sure, you can hire people to do just about everything for you if you are a busy, high earning doctor. But, when it comes down to it, not everything is easily outsourced. Sometimes, an assistant can take hours to complete a task that you could finish in minutes. Explaining what you need eats away at your time too. Working part time can help you streamline your life by allowing you to do things your way.
Interestingly, when you work less, you can devote some attention to learning how to manage your finances. Often, working more and earning more does not necessarily translate to a better bottom line. Once you reach a high enough income and savings, you can protect your earnings more effectively by managing your investments and by learning about taxes than you could by adding a few more hours of reimbursable and taxable pay per week.
Can Help People Understand Preventative Care
Any doctor knows that in a social setting, people will pull you aside and ask you a medical question. While this is not truly delivering patient care, you can use these casual conversations to help the people who trust you and turn to you for advice. When you answer questions about vaccines or recommend smoking cessation or point out the subtle signs of pre diabetes, your friends and relatives can rest reassured that your genuine advice is not part of some type of mythical 'kickback' from the pharmaceutical industry and can get their health problems taken care of before things get worse.
Doctors who allow themselves to have some free time can develop hobbies such as sports, reading, gardening, or just about anything interesting. Adults who have more than one skill or area of knowledge are happier and more empathic with others.
These hobbies can improve your health, can help you connect with others, and will provide you with enjoyment and appreciation for life for years after you retire.
Not Insulated From Society
Doctors who work for hours on end often interact with patients and colleagues in a professional way. But this can lead to an insular existence that is cut off from what is really going on in the world. After years of dedication to medicine, a physician may become unfamiliar with the real life happenings around him and may feel detached from family and friends, unable to understand and connect to ‘mundane’ concerns that are not life threatening.
Being an Example for Aspiring Physicians
Young students who are personable and crave a rich family life and social life may steer away from medical school if they hear the stereotype that physicians spend their whole lives at the hospital. However, your example of work life balance can offer bright young physicians hope that they can achieve the professional dream of becoming a physician while also achieving their personal life goals.
As a physician you have a highly hourly earning power. There are many benefits of having high earning power as a physician. You can use that earning power to collect the maximum total amount of money possible, or you can use that advantage to create a schedule that allows you to be financially comfortable while you enjoy more of what life has to offer.