Medicine is a high stress career that requires you to commit your time, efforts and energy to caring for the needs of your patients. If you are in a specialized position say like that of a brain surgeon or cardiologist, you are expected to be on call round the clock.
These are among the many reasons why women hesitate to pursue a career in medicine. But if you are keen on a career in medicine there are ways in which you can manage the demands of your job.
Medical career is not particularly stressful for women, it is equally demanding on your male counterparts as well. It is when the additional responsibility of home and children come in that women find it a burden hard to bear. If you can find ways to tackle the demands that arise from raising a family, there is no reason why you should not choose a career in healthcare.
Here are a few tips for you to manage a long-term career in healthcare.
1) Seek Out a Mentor
Despite all the advances made by women in medical profession, there are still very few women professionals out there in specialized and critical roles like that of surgeons or oncologists.
If you are interested in making a career as a specialist, then it is important that you have the guidance and support of a mentor. A woman who has achieved what you dream of and has coped with the pressure that comes with the profession will be able to hold your hand during the difficult times.
You will be able to know about potential pitfalls and how to avoid them. You will also get to know of the hardships your mentor went through and how she trumped them all. This will help you tide over rough times and hold it together.
A mentor will also be able to guide you to make wiser career choices and help you spot opportunities.
2) Take Care of Your Body
Stress can have far-reaching and highly detrimental effects on your health and wellbeing. As time goes by responsibilities will pile up and if you do not want to feel overwhelmed, it is necessary that you pick up coping skills early on.
Follow the popular dictum and enroll for yoga or meditation classes. Administrative issues, lack of time, heavy workload, interference from third-party insurance payers and big pharma, unhelpful Government policies and pressure to stay up-to-date with latest technologies are some of the things that make work cumbersome. Meditation may seem an inadequate way to deal with all this, but it is proven that meditation helps you step back and adopt a more emotionally balanced view of life.
A good diet and regular exercise are also essential if you want to be physically capable of handling the challenges of your job.
3) Manage Your Money
Though glamorized on television and in movies, it is hard to see a profession in healthcare as a short cut to getting rich. Your job will be immensely rewarding, enriching and satisfying, but it will become difficult if money is your sole motivation.
Managing home and career itself is highly stressful, and combine with that financial difficulties and things could easily go out of control.
Manage your income well and invest wisely. Student debts weigh down on several professionals. Ensure you pay back as much as you can before you take on other personal commitments like marriage and kids. Do not take on more debt than you can manage and keep your financial house in order.
4) Define Boundaries
Very often there is a very thin line between a healthcare professional’s work and personal life. But if you want to maintain peace at home try to set limits beyond which you won’t let the callings of your job creep in. A physician needs to attend to patient’s needs but ensure that irregular hours are more of an exception than a norm.
5) Let Humor Do the Trick
A healthcare professional’s work environment is not exactly a fun-filled one. There is sorrow of illnesses as well as joy at a baby’s birth. You need to learn to handle everything without getting emotionally involved or deeply affected.
A pinch of humor as you go along dealing with day-to-day challenges can help you tide over difficulties better. Do not expect everything to go along as expected. Just as your profession, daily life also rarely follows a pre-set path.
Do not fret if you did not finish everything you intended to at work. Similarly, do not lose your cool if your house is in a mess when you walk in late evening. This not the end of the world and there is always a new day tomorrow to set things right.
6) Consider Less Stressful Options
Allied health jobs are a great option if you want a career in healthcare, but desire one that is relatively stress-fee and offers fairly regular working hours.
These jobs are set to be in massive demand in coming years and also offer good remuneration. Get formally trained before you start working. Formal training coupled with certifications in respective fields will increase your employment chances drastically. Consider certification programs like Pharmacy Technician Certification or Phlebotomy Certification to enjoy a rewarding career in allied healthcare.
Today more and more girls are opting to study medicine. You can balance family and a healthcare or physician career if you prepare and plan for it. There is nothing wrong with a career in medicine as far as girls are concerned; in fact it is tailor made to suit a woman’s innate ability to connect and nurture.