Renewal is an important part of personal development and it seems to be a theme for many of the people I work with. There is the very real potential to get slightly bored with doing the same things, or run out of ideas at any stage of your medical career, despite how busy you are. Obviously there are huge challenges at a day to day level for doctors currently, but it is important to recognise when you need a refresh in order to avoid starting to burn out.
Some of the signs that people describe having are; low energy, lack of interest and a feeling that they are not fulfilled. Left un-checked this can descend into low esteem, poor morale and unhappy working relationships.
This is difficult because Doctors are expected to manage their own careers and develop the non-clinical interests and ideas away from their clinical base; whether it be education, management, research or organisational development. But there is no clear pathway or training and development to access. On the flip side, as doctors you do have relative autonomy to explore options, as long as you priortise yourself.
In order to access the right opportunities or spot the potential in new areas, you need to know what matters to you and what is of interest.
Take time out to establish:
- Your personal values
- How you like to learn
- What you have learnt about yourself and your work
- What skills you have gained
- What you would like to get better at or improve
- What you would like to be a part of
Clarifying for yourself the above will help you identify what you are and are not interested in, and how you would like to make a change.
So, here are some of the things that people I know have undertaken in order to refresh:
- Start a new activity (teaching/research)
- Get involved in policy or strategy development
- Take on role in professional society or college
- Investigate roles in medical education (post and undergraduate)
- Get involved in mentoring or appraisal
- Join a ethics committee or NICE
- Become the lead for a local service
- Get involved with your Local Medical Committee or CCG
- Join your Clinical Senate
- Take on a quality improvement task/role or pathway redesign
- Write articles / newsletters or a blog
- Use social media to connect with people who have similar interests as you
Every single cell in the human body replaces itself over a period of seven years. That means there’s not even the smallest part of you now that was part of you seven years ago.” Steven Hall
If you would like to talk over your development call me on 0754 0593476 or email me at
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