5 Questions You Must Ask To Avoid GP Burnout

I often meet burned out and exhausted GPs who feel there is no other way to work and no route out, other than retirement, a change of career, or to emigrate.

So, I encourage them to step backwards and catch a breath. Find a different way or a different route. However, being prepared to take the steps necessary is often when the real difficulties start.

My General Practice customers often say they feel completely stuck and believe there’s no alternative. There is. With the right support.

Feeling Stuck?

I used to work in sales and loved my role, but had been passed over for promotion three times. I felt stuck. My career had completely stalled. Thankfully, I had people around me who encouraged me to think differently.

I was asked:

  1. What were my red lines in looking at how I could move on?
  2. What aspects did I enjoy and want to take to a new role?
  3. Where could I be flexible and what would I be prepared to negotiate on?
  4. What quick wins would make life better for me?
  5. In an ideal world, what would my role be?

What Do You Want To Do?

The last question was easy, I wanted to become a Key Account Manager. So, it meant finding a role that reflected the best of my existing one and allowed me to become what I believed I was capable of. I spent 18 months in a small family company, before working in pharmaceuticals. After 10 years I formed my own consultancy business. I love what I do now, yet when the wheels came off for me, I couldn’t see a future.  So, I understand what my clients are going through.

But, if you’re prepared to stop and consider the 5 key questions above, there is a different way for you. Yes, that’s likely to mean some changes, but how great would that feel creating your ideal world? Speak to the people close to you and get the support you need to go forward.

If you don’t work in a happy and fulfilling environment that meets your own internal values, how can you hope to recruit people to come and work alongside you? The recruitment and retention issues will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, hence you have to build and develop a place that first and foremost you want to work in before you can expect others to come and work with you. 

Follow These Simple Steps

There’s no need to stagnate and feel like there’s no way out. There are many simple steps you can take around the work you deliver.

  • Start with a policy that only work that is properly commissioned and resourced gets done. 
  • Stop doing what either isn’t commissioned or isn’t funded, and you will positively impact your workload and that of the people who work alongside you.
  • If it is deemed “good for the patient”, it should be properly commissioned and resourced.

Beyond that, there are other more detailed steps you can take in the planning process. I have many examples I’m happy to share. Just get in touch. You can find more articles on general practice improvements on Linked In. Click here to connect.

Scott McKenzie supports GPs with successful mergers; forming GP Federations; developing primary care networks and setting up new CCG contracts, hospital subcontracts and pathways. If you want to find a better way to move your practice forward we can help you achieve your goals. Download your free guide: 6 Secrets To Running A Vibrant PCN here: Click here.

To get the practice, PCN or federation you always envisioned:

  1. Schedule A Call – We’ll explore your challenges and identify the solution.
  2. Plan how to achieve your goals – We’ll plan the right approach to deliver your vision
  3. Build a sustainable organisation you can be proud of – Start transforming your practice, PCN or federation into a resilient and sustainable organisation where staff are not over-burdened and patients get an excellent service.

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