Healthcare professionals are experiencing high rates of moral injury, depression, trauma, and compassion fatigue as the pandemic continues on. If you decide to start your own practice, you are not immune to burnout. But unlike most employed positions, you have the autonomy and ability to prevent burnout and navigate out if you are experiencing it. Here's how.
1. Be intentional about what type of practice you want to have - and stick to it. This includes the hours you want to work, how you want to be available to patients, how people can contact you, and who you work best with.
2. Opt out of systems that don't allow you to practice in a sustainable way. This might mean opting out of insurance, capping how many patients you see in a day, or diversifying your days so you are involved in more than individual one-on-one patient care.
2. Integrate what you learn. Don't continue to pile on courses, conferences, and other learning opportunities without first integrating and actually putting what you learned in to practice first.
3. Set rates that are consistent with your worth. Are you providing care that is above and beyond typical insurance-based psychiatric care in a healthcare system? If you are practicing integrative psychiatry, the answer is probably yes.
4. Build systems that are sustainable. You might be only spending 50 minutes with a patient but take into consideration the time you spend on preparation, research and administration work with each patient. This might mean seeing less patients in a day and having higher rates.
5. Start small and keep overhead low. Don't buy equipment or new software until you realize that you need it to efficiently do your work. Not having a lot of costs (especially when starting out), will help foster an abundance mindset rather than a scarcity mindset.
6. Caring for yourself is a crucial aspect of your practice. If you are burned out and overwhelmed, it is difficult to serve your clients and the world. You need to care for yourself in order to hold space for your clients - and that amount of time has to be factored into your practice. The number of hours you need to restore and keep yourself whole is not the same for everyone.
7. Don't be afraid to say no to opportunities. As a healer in the mental health field, you are an incredible resource to your community and region. There will always be more that you have the energy and time to help with. Choose opportunities from a grounded, wise place.
8. Build community. It can get lonely in the private practice world. Building a network of other healers (not just other psychiatrists) makes your work less isolating, is good for your practice, and good for your clients. You can refer your clients to healers you recommend (when clinically indicated) and know that they are in good hands.