In today’s overburdened healthcare system, more and more doctors are taking extended sabbaticals to relieve some of the stress brought on by overcrowded surgeries and insufficient staffing. Doctors are working too many hours to fill the void and as a result, are requesting sabbaticals more often than at any time in the past. If you are a doctor returning from sabbatical and unsure yet where you want to practice, here are some tips to help you break back into the field without putting undue stress on yourself.
There Is Always a Need for Licensed Doctors
Of course you know there is always a need for licensed doctors as the shortage is severe. Not only is there a shortage of doctors, but nurses and clinicians are in high demand as well. It is suggested that you take it slowly when coming back from an extended rest to prevent adding stress you fought so hard to relieve. No matter where you intend to practice in the UK, you can be assured of finding a position simply because there is such a shortage of qualified GPs.
Have You Considered Temporary Placement?
Just like you, there are literally hundreds of doctors who just need a break. Quite often they register with a locum agency to find a temporary replacement doctor so that they, too, can take a much needed break. A locum would be needed if that particular doctor was planning on returning to his or her post after their time away. It could be a period as long as a year and then again, it could be as short as a month or two. Everyone deserves a break after working overtime each and every day of the week, but when you hold someone’s life in your hands, your need for time off is even greater.
Start Slowly as You Come Back from an Extended Sabbatical
Any mental health professional will tell you that it is just not healthy to jump back in full steam ahead. Rather, you should break in slowly to avoid returning to the state of mind that set you over the edge in the first place. If you don’t want to find temporary placement as a locum, find a part time position at a surgery relieving a doctor on his or her regular days off. After a time of part time practice, you can begin working more as your strength holds out.
More and more it is becoming apparent that overworked and stressed-out doctors simply need an extended break, a sabbatical. This is one of the highest stress jobs in the world as one mistake could cost a life. Whether you register with a locum agency to find a temporary replacement or give notice so that your surgery can find a permanent replacement, it is vital to recognise and admit your need for time away. Don’t jump back in too quickly upon returning and remember that you are only human. If you need a break, take it. In the end you’ll be a much better doctor for it.