RESPONSE FROM DR. SOTILE:Great questions…with no easy answers. See red ink, below
1. Q. So in dealing w very busy, very focused, and very skeptical physicians- what's the one thing you do that captures their attention to instill the desire to make a change?
A. Show how their lack of positive engagement (or happiness) with work puts both their personal and family health and wellbeing at risk.
2. Q. As one takes on additional roles from being a clinician and family partner and parent to include major leadership roles (department chair or chief surgery) you essentially have gone from two to three "competing" interests all of which are equally important. What's your advise to the leaders about making sure everyone senses that you have not deprioritized them?
A. Whether or not to accept that sort of career-changing promotion is best treated as a family/marital decision. Research has shown that burnout of Chairs, specifically, co-varies with perception of marital support. (See the work of Steven Gabbe.) Secondly, key to family satisfaction with the physician leader is the leader’s conveying that whatever is important to each family member is just as important to him/her (the Chair) as is the busy professional work he/she is engaged in…even if he/she can’t be present as much as desired.
3. Q. It's easy to say "I don't sweat the small stuff" but in family, clinical care and organizational leadership, what you class as the "small" stuff likely is not small to your patients, family, or organization. So how does one prioritize three seemingly non-intertwined worlds?
A. This is a particularly difficult one. One key is managing one’s own perfectionism; differentiating the arenas of life – and realizing that absolute perfectionism (re: self-expectations and expectations of others) is not adaptive, at minimum, in both organizational and family life. Also helpful is adapting to the “infinite sloppiness” that is both the family developmental and organizational developmental courses
KENNETH A. LIPSHY, MD, FACS