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Welcome to the MedEdWell Podcast

Welcome to the MedEdWell podcast, where we empower physicians to reclaim their work-life balance, allowing them to focus on what’s truly important in both their personal and medical lives. Dr. Ryan Stegink, your host, is here to guide you on a wellness journey, helping you be not only a good doctor but also someone who can prioritize self-care and wellness. If you enjoy our podcast, please consider leaving a review on Apple podcasts or your preferred platform to help others discover this valuable resource.

The Journey from Stress to Wellness

Before we dive into today’s topic of charting, let’s reflect on my journey and its purpose. Recently, I had the opportunity to enjoy quality family time, marked by a unicorn-themed birthday party. The beauty of this moment was that I could be fully present because I had already completed my charting. But my journey wasn’t always this smooth. Fresh out of residency, I was overwhelmed with charting, bringing work home, and sacrificing precious family time. The stress weighed on me, making me question if I could still be a good doctor. It took a turning point, a conversation with my wife, and support from my leadership to initiate a change. Today, I’m in a much better place, but challenges still arise. In this episode, we’ll explore how you can set goals, understand your current situation, and navigate the emotions tied to charting.

Setting Charting Goals

Consider where you want to go with your charting. Do you aspire to complete it at the end of each day, leave work on time, and still provide excellent patient care? Envision this future state, set specific goals, and imagine how it feels to achieve them. Your charting efficiency directly impacts your ability to be present for what truly matters in your life.

Assessing Your Current Charting State

Now, let’s assess your current situation. Are you completing your charts promptly or shortly after patient visits? Identify what’s holding you back. It could be feelings of discomfort, an urge to rush to the next patient, or obligations that demand your attention. Automatic thoughts often generate these feelings. By bringing awareness to these thoughts, you can evaluate their impact and decide how to respond.

Confronting Discomfort and Urges

One significant challenge is discomfort. You might resist taking those extra minutes to complete your notes. Embrace the discomfort and commit to charting more effectively. Tools like templates, preference lists, and order sets can help. Embrace the thought that you’re a good doctor providing your full attention to patients.

Resisting the Urge to Buffer

The urge to buffer—doing anything but charting—can sidetrack your efficiency. Be intentional about your actions. If you’re tempted to distract yourself with other tasks or discussions, pause and ask if this aligns with your priorities. Finish what you intend to, and then you’ll have time for what matters most.

Combatting Feelings of Shame and Blame

Feelings of shame and self-blame can be pervasive. Remember that you’re a good doctor, capable of learning and growth. Have self-compassion as you navigate these challenges.

Embrace the Journey

In conclusion, take time to assess where you are and where you want to be in terms of charting and clinical workflows. How you deal with discomfort and negative emotions will significantly impact what matters most to you. Remember, your identity is not solely defined by your profession; it’s much deeper. Embrace this journey, accept the ups and downs, and move forward with self-compassion.

Thank You for Joining the MedEdWell Podcast

Thank you for joining us for another episode of the MedEdWell podcast. If you found this episode helpful, please share it with fellow physicians and friends who could benefit from this message. If you haven’t already, leaving a review on your preferred podcast platform would be greatly appreciated. Take the time to reflect on your own thoughts and goals, and remember to extend self-compassion when your journey doesn’t go as planned. Thank you for your dedication, and have a wonderful day.