Finding the right balance family & wealth creation

Finding Balance: Coping with the Demands of the Medical Profession

As medical professionals, we have all experienced the feeling of being consumed by our work, leading us to question why we chose this path. Finding balance becomes essential for maintaining overall well-being and long-term success. While our job brings immense gratification, it also has the potential to overpower our lives, leaving us feeling drained and unfulfilled.

How often have you felt life sucks? Why did I choose this profession? 

As much as you love what you do and the gratification the profession brings, it has the uncanny ability to completely overtake your life, leaving you with a distinct sense of “WHERE DID I GO WRONG!!”

The challenge of work-life balance for medical professionals arises due to the demanding nature of their profession. Professionals are required to work long hours, often on-call, and shoulder the responsibility for the lives of the patients they manage.

If I were to sum it up, I would say the following are the culprits that disrupt the work-life balance for medical professionals:

  1. Long and unpredictable work hours: Medical professionals frequently have to work extended hours, which can include nights, weekends, and holidays, resulting in difficulty achieving a healthy work-life balance due to the disturbance it causes to their personal and family time 
  2. High-stress levels: medical professionals are under constant stress due to the nature of their work, resulting in burnout, anxiety, and depression, aggravated by the inability to switch off from work and relax during off-work hours. 
  3. Heavy workload: Medical professionals are inundated with heavy workloads, leaving them overwhelmed and exhausted, leaving little or no room and energy for personal activities and hobbies outside of work. 
  4. Difficulty in disconnecting from work: Due to the 24/7 nature of healthcare, medical professionals are challenged to disconnect from work. Even when off duty, calls/ emails/ updates barge into personal time, often making it difficult to tune out of work.  
  5.  Limited control over work schedule: Medical practitioners have limited say in tier roasters, especially during their residency and training years, making it difficult to have a life outside work.
  7. In short, the very nature of the profession defies work-life balance, but for an individual’s mental health and personal development, establishing a wok-life balance is mandatory, more so for people in this profession as this is strife with long hours of work, high stress, heavy workload and all-encompassing nature of the profession.  

So, what can one do? Is it a lost battle?

Definitely NO. There are techniques that medical professionals can use to establish a sense of order and balance in their seemingly out-of-control rocketing life and maintain their well-being, be less stressed, avoid burnout and lead a healthier, happier life.

In this article, I share three tips to help you embark on your work-life balance journey.

  1. Prioritise self-care: Simply put means prioritising your health and well-being. Similar to the safety norms, when taking a fight- in case of pressure drop, put on your mask before helping others- your physical, mental, and emotional well-being needs to come first. To achieve the end, here are a few action items:
  • Regular exercise
  •  Catch up on sleep
  • Adopt stress-reducing techniques choose among various relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga etc.

2. Set boundaries: Much as all-encompassing the profession is, one must set limits between work and personal life. Barring emergencies, once off work, keeping an eye on work has to stop. No looking at emails or catching up on outstanding tasks. Use the time off work to recharge your batteries and pursue your interests and hobbies to keep the learning curve going. 

3. Learn Time Management: As healthcare professionals, we believe we know the best, and rightly so. We spent years honing our skills and learning. A quick population of the matrix below will help you identify where you should focus on and what either be put off or delegated, helping you manage your time and organise your schedule more efficiently.


A day well organised will not only relieve stress but also help you feel less overwhelmed and swamped. 

In conclusion, it’s time to dispel the notion that medical professionals cannot have a life outside of work and replace it with a new narrative that emphasises work-life balance, which can help them avoid burnout and maintain good health. By implementing the aforementioned tips, medical professionals can lead more satisfying and fulfilling lives both personally and professionally.