Surgeons: Take a Break

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media , November 4, 2010

More attention should be made to "earlier identification of surgeons at higher risk for burnout problems," according to Balch. The survey showed that surgeons who were on salary were more likely to favor restrictions in work hours than those whose pay was based entirely on billing.

Surgeons are learning, over time, to work better cooperatively, and to stay away from the office, and know they can be replaced on certain days, Freischlag says. She adds that that's the way she practices, and she has learned to fit in her home life with her busy practice, among other things.

Freischlag has been editor of the Archives of Surgery and has served on several editorial boards. She also has published more than 150 transcripts, abstracts and book chapters.

 "If I'm not there, a partner can make up for me or a nurse practitioner," Freischlag says. "It works well. It is the shifting sands of how we practice."

"Part of it is the aging process," Freischlag says of making adjustments in her practice. "You don't need to prove to others. And, you get tired. It's the nature of things; how you set up your life and balance it.  I think it's the nature of things; how you want to set up your life and the balance in it."

 "I'm in and out of town, I take vacations, [that's] one of the reasons I'm still a surgeon," says the mother of three.

And then Freischlag laughs. "Sometimes I don't do a very good job (of the relaxation), and there's too much on your plate."

Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.
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