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32 Skills Doctors can Practice to Help Themselves Thrive

Two thumbs up!

The Narrative Initiative enthusiastically endorses this phenomenal new book, "The Thriving Doctor: How to be more balanced and fulfilled working in medicine" by the acclaimed coach of doctors and psychologist Sharee Johnson.

As a teaser I've listed a few of her 32 skills we as physicians need to seriously consider developing so we don't merely survive to give good care. Instead, we thrive while giving good care. Some of these seem straightforward such as prioritizing sleep. Yet some challenge the tried and true coping mechanisms that as a physician of 30 years I've thought were essential to getting through my day in the ICU such as compartmentalizing, and believing "I need to be my job". Included are her insights into the time tested values of gratitude and self-compassion that we so often prescribe for our patients yet never seem to find time to do ourselves. And don't we all as -- as physicians AND as human beings -- deserve the chance to thrive?

Here's a teaser.....

  1. Prioritize sleeping for 7 - 9 hours in every 24 hours.

  2. Use compartmentalizing as a short-term strategy only. Tell someone you trust about the difficulties in your work and the impact they have on you.

  3. Actively prioritize activities that help your body to engage the relaxation response (green zone).

  4. Say to yourself: I'm practicing getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Stop numbing, suppressing, and ignoring your experiences.

  5. Reframe time. Think of energy instead.

  6. Decide to improve your communication skills. Start by seeking first to understand.

  7. Listen with care, connection, presence, curiosity, kindness, empathy and trust.

  8. Practice compassion as much as possible. It's good for others and for you.

  9. Ask for help often. It builds connection, trust and respect.

  10. Prioritize your loved ones. Make more time to be with them and be present.

Now, I have given this book out to colleagues and a few of those coming up in the profession as well. I wish this had been gifted to me about 20 years ago because I think it would have made a difference in how I coped with empathy fatigue and placed myself last in line for compassion and kindness.

Many thanks to you Sharee for making a difference in the lives of physicians everywhere!

I highly recommend this book.

All the best



Lorraine A. Dickey, MD MBA

Founder and CEO

The Narrative Initiative LLC®

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