John N. Evans, DPM
Allen Park, MI
We all know the feeling. You are having a great day until you look at your patient list, and you see a name that causes your heart to pound. Or, you walk into a treatment room, feel a chill in the air, and immediately a cloud descends around you. Or when discussing a patient’s response to a treatment, you feel a flush coming over you, and your voice rises and you feel your throat tightening up. The beautiful day dissolves, and your world contracts around you, leaving you feeling depressed and questioning your judgement. And you still have 30 more patients to see…
How can a wonderful day turn bad so quickly?
Why are you able to breeze through multiple patients with complex and difficult problems without breaking a sweat, and then you see one who stops you cold? What is the difference that allows you to be a fully functional, competent physician one moment, and the next feel you don’t know what to do? Could there be a more stressful moment?
Well, how do you feel about the additional responsibilities placed on you by Medicare and other insurance companies, or HIPPA and patient information security, all while your reimbursement declines but overhead costs increase? The stress of modern life can be oppressive enough without the extra stresses associated with being a physician. Do you sometimes wish you had chosen a simpler profession? Why is life so hard at times?
We spend most of our time being controlled by our unconscious minds. As physicians we have spent many years training our minds to accumulate and analyze data. We are extremely well adapted for that and are quite successful at thinking. What we need to focus on is how to “stop thinking.” The unconscious mind too often controls our lives, and we respond to these thoughts defensively. This reactive activity often poisons our lives and how we communicate with our patients, our families, and affects how we feel about ourselves. The egoic mind too easily controls our life, and this can cause major problems.
A new movement in medicine is the “Mindful Practice.” We will discuss some of the concepts proposed in this philosophy, and how it can make you a more productive and successful physician. There is a lifestyle that can be more satisfying to you and those around you. Not only can you become a more effective doctor, but you will learn the skills to communicate better with your patients, staff, family, and friends. These same techniques can lead to a more fulfilling and enjoyable life. And all this is available at absolutely no cost. You can begin today, at this very moment.