After all the long years of training you had in order to become a member of the medical profession you may find that most of your identity is defined by your professional role as a doctor.
Nevertheless it is very important for your general health and well-being that you don’t neglect other parts of yourself.

It’s important to remember that you are more than your profession, you are more than the result of your training and you deserve to have a life which encompasses more than your doctor identity.

Yet so many doctors forget that there is more to life and as a result neglect the important parts of themselves that existed before they became doctors and will be there when they have retired from Medicine too.

If this applies to you too then it’s important to understand that in spite of your life as a doctor you are allowed to have other interests away from work and have time to spend with friends, family and community too. However busy you believe your job is, it is vital that you designate time each week for your personal interests and social life and that you schedule this in the same way as you arrange your work commitments.

You may hesitate to take time for yourself and your personal interests or allow yourself to have some sort of a social life because you experience overwhelming pressures on you to work long hours and, because of the need to pass examinations, do research or fulfill the expectations of your seniors, you may feel guilty about allowing yourself to have a life away from Medicine. Maybe you also pressure those junior to you in the same way that you are pressures to be blinkered in their pursuit of so-called medical excellence so that they daren’t question or refuse to do what you ask of them. This is commonplace within the culture of the medical profession.

Yet when you begin to question your lifestyle and start to create space for something else you will find that you become more able to deal with the stresses of the working life of a doctor.

Remind yourself that you became a doctor to diagnose and treat sick people, you didn’t necessarily agree to give up every other aspect of your life. Recollect what used to make your heart sing before you became overwhelmed with the doctor’s life. You may find that just thinking back in this way helps you to realise what it is that you would love to re-visit again. It might be a hobby or some exercise which you have given up since becoming so busy in your medical life or you might realise that you’ve neglected your general health and fitness routines and that you need to begin to exercise regularly once more and to eat a more healthy diet too.

Once you start to think about these things and visualise how much better you would feel in yourself if you re-introduced them into your life again then make the decision now that something has to change. Start by doing just one thing differently and you will find that taking this first step will lead to being able to make other necessary changes and then your life will change and in so doing you will be able to include things away from Medicine and connect once more with the person you are beneath the doctor identity.

Author's Bio: 

Susan Kersley is a retired doctor who became a Life Coach who specialises in coaching doctors. She writes personal development books for doctors.