“In our department we have cyclists, motor car race enthusiasts, triathletes. That’s the way that they de-stress,” Associate Professor Chan says.
“That is too much for me, I do it a different way. A spiritual dimension is very important to me, but perhaps not for others. In addition, some form of regular exercises help us to keep our happy hormones endorphins up in “therapeutic range”.
“I think wellness is a concept, but individuals practice it differently.”
ACEM has provided a number of options to support trainees throughout their training and beyond, and FACEMs’ health and wellbeing.
ACEM’s online discussion forum is available to all trainees and physicians, providing an opportunity to share resources to help prevent, identify, and address burnout in oneself, exchange ideas on the way to balance life and work, and connect with co-workers.
Try something new
For Associate Professor Chan, another way in which she looked after her health and wellbeing was to move away from full-time frontline emergency medicine and shift into research. Her research interests include digoxin, methotrexate, dihydropyridine, lithium and sodium channel blocker toxicity as well as emergency topics such as rationalising imaging in the emergency department.
“It actually opened up a way that I could maintain a presence in emergency medicine but reduce my clinical workload,” she says. “So when I turned up I could be engaged and give 110 per cent.
“But then toxicology taught me about the fact that I could sit down and think about my patients without multiple tasks confronting me. I can teach, do research and publish papers. They build up my knowledge and are complimentary to my clinical practice and give me an immense understanding of what other aspects of medicine there are.”