Final Read

Travis S. Graham, MD


January 2016

Q: How do you avoid burnout?

You all know the spiel about strategies to avoid burnout.

I do them all. I run, I bike, and I do the occasional adventure and charity race. I play the banjo and even participate in occasional live gigs. I have a wonderful wife and four beautiful children. I have dogs, cats, and chickens. I am involved in our community through the local library foundation, the local community college foundation, and our church. I volunteer at our free medical clinic and crisis pregnancy center. I coach kids’ sports. I give CME talks to our medical staff, and I personally talk to at least seven patients a day. The list goes on and on.

Have I been burned out before? Yes! Medicine is a complex world and it’s not getting any easier. Nothing short of perfection will do. Physicians and radiologists are as susceptible as any to burnout and I hear about it every day.

What advice do I have for you then? There are no special tricks here, but I have a tip or two.

Stop and reflect on your blessings. Get some sun every day. Simply live your life. Don’t overdo the spending. Realize your marriage can be fragile, your friendships can wither, and your children will grow up with or without you — all while you read another CT scan or do another procedure. Then prioritize appropriately.

Find someone who’s got your back: your spouse, a grown child, a sibling, a friend, or your God. You’re not perfect. Someday you are going to fall, and you’ll need this support. You can only carry so much for so long. You can’t do it all yourself all the time.

FRTravis S. Graham, MD, radiologist at Yellowstone Radiology and Big Horn Basin Radiology, Cody, Wyo.

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