A. Noelle Larson
LAS VEGAS — It is important for orthopedic surgeons to be able to manage their relationships with family and friends to reduce the risk of burnout, according to a presenter at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting.
A. Noelle Larson , MD, recommended surgeons should set up a network and community of people who you can be yourself around.
“You want people whose paths and interested naturally overlap, and you should also strive to maintain a few friendships or relationships with people outside of medicine because this will give you an interesting looking glass on your own perspective,” Larson said, here.
Surgeons should also not delay their lives, whether it be getting married or going on vacation, with Larson noting, “if things need to happen, they need to happen.”
“You need to make time for the ongoing steps in life,” she said. “If you do not make time, life will pass you by.”
For orthopedic surgeons with families, Larson noted they need to be present and make eye contact. It is also important to have a plan with several layers of backup for unforeseen complications.
“You need a deep bench because when that snow day hits, when that illness hits, when your usual care provider is out you need several layers of people who can help you out,” she said. “That is when those tight social networks are going to help you, so you will have people you can lean on and call on.”
Larson advises to stay organized by making lists, whether digital or on paper, and to break bigger tasks into small increments with deadlines.
“Have at least one easy thing on the list each day so you can feel a sense of accomplishment,” Larson said.
She added to keep close contacts with peers and colleagues, and to develop a work family by socializing with them outside the OR and introducing them to the family.
“Be fair to yourself and make time for yourself, but eventually your families may have different interests and you want to defer to your family,” Larson said. – by Casey Tingle
Larson AN. Managing family relationships and work-life balance. Presented at: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting; March 12-16, 2019; Las Vegas.
Disclosure: Larson reports no relevant financial disclosures.