There is much in the practice of medicine that physicians cannot control: fluctuating reimbursements, legislation, and patient behavior – to name a few. How doctors view and manage these uncontrollable things can have a major impact on their stress level. This excerpt from a recent article in the journal The Review of Ophthalmology titled “10 Ways to Survive What You Can’t Control” sums up one central idea:
If you can’t do anything to change a situation, then the best strategy is acceptance,” says Dr. Craig Piso, a psychologist who works with physicians. He is also quick to point out that acceptance is not the same as approval.
The bottom line here is, what behavior is effective rather than ineffective? This is really about what works and what doesn’t work. If you knock your head against the wall, you’ll just experience pain and exhaustion. Instead, shift your focus away from those battles that you can’t win. Once you let go of those things through acceptance – not approval, but acceptance – then you’ll be free to devote your psychological and emotional bandwidth to those situations where you can make a difference, where you can be effective, where you can reach your goals.