Whether you’re a newly-qualified specialist or have decided to move out of the public system, entering private practice can come with a range of challenges, alongside its rewards. Burnout is a challenge all too common amongst medical professionals, particularly at the start of your career.
When it comes to running your own practice, burnout can cost you more than just your health. However, the benefits of proactively preventing burnout can be lucrative. In fact, research by beyondblue found that ‘every dollar spent on creating a mentally healthy workplace will, on average, have a positive return on investment of $2.30’. Once you’ve identified what may be causing you to feel stressed or overwhelmed, it’s time to lead positive action in your practice.
Burnout in private practice
The most common cause of burnout itself is being exposed to multiple, ongoing stressors at work, while feeling like you don’t have the right support to complete the tasks at hand. In the context of starting or managing your private practice, increasing workloads, decreasing life balance, and inefficiencies can all lead to burnout amongst you and your colleagues.
Genie Solutions customer and Cardiologist, Dr Latona’s, experience may be a familiar one. A main source of stress during the early stages of his private practice was the fact that he was “taught to be a doctor, not a businessman”. So how can you create an environment that prevents burnout and supports the wellbeing of you and your staff?
When it comes to managing stress in the early stages of your private practice, staying active, eating well, finding time to relax and ensuring you get enough sleep, can all be beneficial. In Dr Latona’s experience, “when I started my practice…I was able to [do] a lot of running. That really helped me get through.”
Establishing a positive and open culture within your practice may not have made it on your never-ending to-do list. But it’s now time to take a step back and do just that. Debriefing with your staff not only builds a support network within the workplace, but could positively impact your patient’s experience of care.
In terms of workload, Genie Solutions customer and Surgeon, Dr Kunjuraman, recommends not taking on “too much of a work commitment in the beginning”. “I decided to do two days of private practice initially” she says, “so I know how much I can cope with and then I can slowly increase.”
Setting realistic financial expectations upfront can also help prevent feeling stressed in the early days of your private practice. “The money definitely comes much later on” shared Dr Latona, “it takes time before you really get going with your practice.”
Getting the right support
On top of these personal measures, tapping into the right expertise can also help alleviate stress in the early stages of your private practice. Feeling like you have too much work to do can be a common cause of burnout. So hiring extra support in the form of additional team members, such as a practice manager or bookkeeper could help.
Support can also come in the form of a software solution. This is where Genie Solutions can help, with our range of trusted products designed to help you manage your private practice.
Genie is a complete desktop solution that assists in running your practice efficiently by automating a range of tasks — from appointment scheduling to billing — thereby freeing up your team to focus on patient care. Dr Latona chose Genie to initially help with Medicare billing. “I was recommended by pretty much every one of my colleagues…[it was] instrumental in getting the whole billing aspect sorted.”
Gentu is a cloud-based solution, which is ideal if you have multiple practices or, like Gentu customer Dr Kunjuraman, work from a few locations. Dr Kunjuraman chose Gentu because she “wanted that freedom of logging on to my patient appointments…from different locations.”
Starting out in private practice? Genie Solutions has been helping specialists set up their business for over twenty years. Get in touch today to find out how we can support you on your journey, or learn more about our products.