Not only are physicians responsible for healing patients' bodies, but they also have a duty to maintain their emotional health. Yet too often, doctors simply don't express regard for their own well-being. According to a new survey from the Commonwealth Fund and the Kaiser Family Foundation, 47 percent of doctors have considered early retirement due to being dissatisfied with the state of modern medicine. Perhaps in more than any other field, doctors need to feel balanced. Without it, they don't have the necessary tools to empathize with patients and treat them holistically. Thankfully, there are a few steps doctors can take in order to improve their overall sense of wellbeing, and, by extension excel at their jobs. 

Recognize your value
Every day is going to be considered a win for most doctors. There will be times when a number of factors, from issues with patient care to general exhaustion, will make any doctor contemplate hanging up their stethoscope. It's at those moments, though, that physicians need to try and take some time to reflect. Recognize your role in the lives of so many people, the part you've played in their ability to not only properly function, but to actually enjoy their lives. If your work with patients is particularly intense one day, try and think back to another time. It could be one where you made a unique connection with a patient, or felt a particular sense of fulfillment. Regardless, these moments help you realize the value you hold as a healer. It's often that sense that can keep most physicians moving forward.

Take time for yourself
In recent years, there has been increased discussion regarding work-life balance in the medical field. Yet for whatever reason, not enough doctors are taking steps to achieve this balance. In fact, according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges, most physicians work up to 51 hours per week, an increase of 10 percent from the early 2000s. If nothing else, consider what it would be like if you were to run a car or other machine at this pace. The inevitable wear and tear would keep it from being efficient, and the same goes for your abilities to properly diagnose and treat your patients. Some doctors have chosen to work part-time, though this can complicate how you manage your practice. Other physicians have adopted a flexible schedule in which they work less during their downtime and more during peak periods. However, even something as simple as turning your cell phone off at night or taking time for a daily lunch can be enough of a break. 

Be a better delegator
Often, a doctor will want to dictate every aspect of their office. The question then begs, what is the point of having staff in the first place? More and more doctors should rely on their staff to do the jobs these individuals were hired to do. A physician's time is far better spent focusing on further developing vital connections with patients and catching up on specific paperwork. If you're the kind of leader who still wants some influence, ensure that your staff sends weekly progress reports detailing their respective administrative tasks. However, if there is one area where doctors should not rely on their staff, it's for creating their personal schedules. This is the physician's chance to dictate their own day and focus on tasks they deem important. 

Connect with colleagues
According to Bloomberg Business, those who work in the office setting are most effective when they collaborate frequently with colleagues. Why, then, should that not also apply to doctors? Physicians within the same practice can rely on each other for a number of different reasons. That includes another person to manage administrative staff during stressful periods – like the ICD-10 transition – and tackle new projects around the office. However, your connection with other doctors should also extend to any close colleagues. When you're feeling especially despondent about your work situation, these individuals can act as a sympathetic ear. In most cases, they will understand the struggles inherent to the medical field. They can also serve as a reminder about why you might have become a doctor in the first place. In order to really cultivate these relationships, schedule weekly get-togethers or frequent lunch meetings.