How to Become a More Resilient Physician

November 7, 2014

When things aren't working, resilient physicians manage to figure out how to get back on track. Here are three ways to build up your resiliency.

When things aren't working, resilient physicians manage to figure out how to get back on track. They apply ingenuity to daily tasks, long-term projects, group or team relations, or other problems. If they botch a procedure, they rigorously assess why. If something goes wrong on a project, they jump right in to see what is awry. They consider the possibilities, try out each one and follow each through for whatever insights might emerge.

Characteristics of resilient physicians
Resilient physicians are adept at managing sudden, significant, and complex change with minimal dysfunctional behavior.

Rather than shrink from controversy, they're more likely to dive into the fray. They take a stand-up role, and if necessary, freely admit where and when they went wrong.

They assess both the choices they made that lead to a particular result and what other choices they could make to achieve a more desirable outcome in the future.

They are flexible and know when to roll with the punches, and in many instances, they are above average at overcoming sentimental attachments to a place, a piece of equipment, a method, or even a business philosophy. On some level, they understand that, particularly in the workplace, most arrangements are temporary.

They don't seem to get as flustered by bends in the road. If they're thwarted in some aspect of a project, they make forward progress in others. Most importantly, they use what they have to get what they want.

Building up your resiliency
1. Get active.
When resilient physicians find themselves boxed in on all sides, they don't wallow in self-pity, at least not for long. They're willing to face their feelings, brainstorm, or even clean out the file cabinet, knowing that such activities can be therapeutic.

2. Accomplish small tasks. Perhaps most vitally, resilient physicians determine what they can accomplish right now, today. They know that the act of getting things done, in and of itself, generally proves to be an uplifting experience, however small the deed.

3. Emulate others. By identifying, observing, and then incorporating the behaviors of resilient people, it's possible to change your own behavior to better deal with the world around and within you. Seek out in the individual in your workplace who is efficient, seems to roll with the punches, and doesn't unglue in the face of setbacks. That's the person to emulate.