Dear Physician Parent, “Don’t be late [getting home].”

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“[You] didn’t sign up for easy, [You] signed up for worthwhile.”

~Author, Jeff Henderson, Book, Know What You Are For

Caption: Editor, Michael Tetreault and daughter on a CMT podcast discussing what’s important to the all-star team at home.

By Michael Tetreault, Editor-in-Chief, Concierge Medicine Today

This quote guides me a lot of weeks, especially when I talk to so many hard-working Physicians who lament about their constant work-life-balance struggles and juggling priorities with younger kids.

We are all guilty of working too late, too much, too frequently.

Me too.

If you’re a Parent and Physician of any specialty, more than likely you’ve burned the candle at both ends many times.

One Physician we spoke to recently noted the routine difficulty of scheduling and managing the daily tension she feels when bumping into the urgent vs family.

“Time is never on our side,” said one Physician mother of three in Georgia. “We have to find the time to leave. More often than not it will never work out but we still have to try. We have to inform our team and create boundaries and gaps in our weekly schedule. Eventually we will have seasons within our schedule that we’re able to spend more time with our family and purposeful about our time management.”

I know for me personally, I’m guilty of missing a few non-essential yet essential to them events as well.

No one is immune from time.

Being devoted to your career, your work and a profession you love and loathe at times … is honorable.

Balancing your schedule and the daily and weekly workload will always a battle we will face our entire working career.

I love what one of my business mentors, Jeff, said a few years ago.

“We didn’t sign up for easy. We signed up for worthwhile.”

~Author, Jeff Henderson, Book, Know What You Are For

Caption: A recent text CMT’s Editor, Michael Tetreault received from his 9-yo daughter.

As many of you know, I’m not a Physician. But, I am a Patient so I do know what it’s like to sit on the other side of you.

I’m also a father of three very active kids, a husband to the smartest, most patient middle school math teacher in the world (who despite my poor math skills — which is why I’m a writer/editor btw), married me anyway. Well, much to my surprise this morning I opened an email from my Inbox that caught my eye. The subject line was Rules for Dads of Daughters.

In the article, the author, All Pro Dads, writes … I’m always surprised at the simplicity of some of his tips and yet, they are also so critical. One of his main tips is to always keep thinking. When we stop thinking, we make bad decisions with unfortunate consequences. Raising daughters is also an adventure and we want to do things that will give us an edge. Maintaining daily focus on doing the right things makes raising daughters healthy and strong all the more likely.

Despite the article being focused on Dads and Daughters, I thought #10 on the list would strike a note among some of the wisest and most discerning Parent-Physicians out there and we thought we’d share it with you.

#10. Don’t be late.

I don’t know about you, but I do know I’m chronically leaving later than I should.

I’m sure do this as well.

We can’t always manage our schedule find the perfect day and you know what? It’s okay.

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I love how the author described #10. They wrote … She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings.

If you’re a parent I bet you have a team at home eagerly awaiting your return.

If you do, at least for today … or perhaps this week, let’s all try to remember “Don’t be late [getting home.”

We won’t get it right everyday and that’s okay. What matters is we are trying to move the needle. Maybe that means alerting your team, a colleague or a staff member to change your schedule a day or three a week. Maybe it means saying ‘No’ finally.

Tell you what I’ll leave on time today if you will. Deal?

Let’s all attempt to not be late a little more often. 🙂

After all, it is no longer about being the best Doctor in the world any more, it is about being the best Doctor FOR the world, FOR your Patients and FOR your family.

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