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    How Physicians Found Joy This Year

    2020 was one for the books, especially for healthcare workers. Compared to the rest of the U.S., physicians are at an increased risk for burnout, especially this year. In order to provide the best care possible to patients, we need a healthy work-life balance, which, of course, is hard to do right now. In an interview about life as a hospitalist, Cuong Doan, MD stressed the importance of having hobbies and interests to find enjoyment outside of the hospital. Getting involved in interests outside of work helps Dr. Doan to prevent burnout and not get too overwhelmed with the hectic. 

    We're passionate about physician resilience and fighting physician burnout. The bottom line is: physician burnout is a system-wide problem, and now, the workload is heavier and even more trying. So, how did physicians find joy in 2020? Well, here's how the ones we talked with were able to forget about their stresses (even for a moment!) and find joy this year. 

    Indoor Activities Like Puzzles and Board Games 

    This year, indoor time was not in short supply, for most, that meant more time for the indoor hobbies that would generally get put on the back-burner, like puzzles and board games. @stealthtosteth on Instagram responded saying:
    "[I enjoyed] getting a chance to play board games with my family." -@stealthtosteth on Instagram
    Another physician, @puzzlingpediatrician was able to spend time doing her favorite hobby: puzzling (between 70 to 80+ a month!) She even set up a fun game to incorporate puzzles with studying. Check out her post to see how she was able to combine studying for her exam with her favorite hobby! 
    puzzle image from @puzzlingpediatricians instagram


    Time in the Great Outdoors 

    In 2020 we tried to keep our distance from others as much as possible, we found that many physicians did this in the great outdoors! @rocketfeet5 let us know that she found joy in 2020 from running, others told us that they found joy in "Spending time outside! Lots of hiking." Johnna Stevens, MD, told us she likes to spend time outdoors hiking, swimming, and biking. 

    "I enjoy spending time with my family: my husband, two sons (ages 8 and 1), and our two dogs. We like to get outdoors as much as possible—hiking, swimming, and biking." -Johnna Stevens, MD

    This time in the fresh air was good for finding joy, relieving stress, and staying active in 2020! This way of finding joy might just be a double whammy, too. Did you know that exercise and staying active helps build stronger memories? Also, that studying in a variety of environments helps you to learn better? It's true! So, next time you're out on a hike, take your Audio Pearls along and listen while you're on the go! 


    Going Big for the Holidays!

    These residency programs tried to continue their favorite holiday traditions to keep some normalcy and joy this year. Here are a couple of our favorite ways they celebrated holidays this year. @sfchpeds had a Christmas cookie exchange and @einsteininternalmed continued their annual pumpkin contest.

    @sfchpeds's Christmas Cookie Exchange@sfchpeds's Christmas Cookie Exchange

    @einsteininternalmed's annual pumpkin contest@einsteininternalmed's annual pumpkin contest

    Time With Family 

    For those lucky enough to have loved ones around to spend time with, like @stealthtosteth who enjoyed "getting a chance to play board games with my family after ages" found joy in spending time those closest to them. Others, whose families weren't in the same households, spent time with their family in other ways, like calls to check in. 


    We hope that no matter where you were or what struggles you endured this last year, that you were able to find joy in the little things and those around you. 

    Puzzles, board games, hiking, biking, celebrating holidays, and family time—sounds like a prescription for joy in a stressful time doesn’t it? Here’s to a new year filled with even more joy than the last. For more from our community of physician, advice, and study tips going into the new year, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter

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