Our dentists are still reporting a steady stream of patients, and that’s a good thing. High volume usually means more profit, more money to put away for a rainy day, more hiring opportunities...or does it? If you’re not seeing an end to the high volume trends, how much longer do you think you can sustain the stressful pace?
Sit up straight for a moment...Did your neck and back crack?
While we’re not chiropractors here at SmartBox, we do know what happens to our dentists when they are focused on quantity over quality — they start to feel the burn. In other words, burnout — physical and mental — is right around the corner.
A recent study of 3500 dentists done by the Journal of the American Dental Association revealed that 38% of dentists were anxious and worried, while 34% stated they are physically or emotionally exhausted. Two of the many reasons reported include long working hours and time pressure.
If you’re burning the midnight oil, cramming in as many patients as possible, you’re most likely also neglecting your own health and happiness.
How do I stop or at least slow down?
Stress or burnout happens in all industries, so it’s tough to completely eliminate it. But there are ways to manage it so you can take back your time and take better care of yourself. The first thing you should do is figure out exactly where your stress or time pressure is coming from — too many low-value cases (quantity vs. quality), long hours hunched over, no strategy to cut back hours, etc. Pinpointing the source of your burnout is crucial in managing it. Here are a few tips that might help you see your way out of the burn:
Improve your work environment. This could mean firing, moving offices, dismissing patients, getting time management training, etc.
Get your exercise in! Between 50-50% of dentists report being completely inactive during the day
Disconnect. Immerse yourself in life outside the office.
Get more sleep. Sleep is underrated but vital to your physical and mental health.
Talk to other practitioners. You’re all in it together and can offer each other support and advice.
Help is never far away — you just need to recognize that you’re approaching burnout and take the necessary steps to preserve your health and sanity. Check out our latest and very popular free report, The Wealthiest Dentist.
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