03 October 2019
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I am working harder than ever at my practice and I still cannot keep up with demands. I am struggling to keep up with the paperwork and practice finances. What am I doing wrong?

My first approach to GPs who describe working lifestyles like this is to prompt them to check on their personal health. Does this GP have a GP, and if so do they go to see them? Levels of strain like this need to be cross checked with physical and psychological illness, especially for illnesses that run in the family like thyroid disorders.

It is important to discuss this problem at practice level and if appropriate among colleagues in local CME and local Faculty groups. We are all in the same boat. Some GPs feel empowered by simply sharing their work related fatigue to a colleague and it encourages them to focus on improving their working lifestyle, hours of work, systems of work, accessibility, out of hours clinical work and administrative work, other medical commitments, committees and CPD. While it appears that some colleagues can survive the job better than others, it is the same job and so it is important to learn how to prepare to respond to patients expectations. We cannot promise complete cures, complete resolution of symptoms or short waiting times for further tests. We can only do our best. Nurturing our job satisfaction by helping others is what can sustain us the best over the decades of a long career.

 

Other approaches include developing a special clinical interest, an interesting practice audit, a new hobby, a family activity, or a fresh reappraisal of work commitments, time commitments and finances. You might start this discussion at a practice meeting so that all the clinicians can assess how they can help each other during the working day. If there is a practice administrator or manager they may be in a god position to assist with helping you to manage your non clinical workload, and have advice on improving your working day. You may also need to have this discussion with your family and friends.

 

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