Medical practitioners careers (Part 5)
To reduce the risk of burnout, try to position yourself so that you are in demand. Burnout can result from a feeling of being trapped in a role or job from which there seems to be no escape. The best protection for you will come from gaining skills and achievements in clinical practice or in the academic sphere that make you a marketable commodity. I am not counselling revolution but there is something very comforting about knowing that, if conditions become untenable, you will have the opportunity to move on.
Recognize that your learning curve must not plateau once you complete your specialty exams or PhD studies – actually it should accelerate thereafter. You can and should learn far more during your staff years than you did as a resident or fellow. Early in a research career, it is particularly important that you function within a critical mass of scientists, because it is from these interactions that you will learn the most. The ability to capitalize on these opportunities usually requires a deliberately proactive, open-to-criticism, nondefensive attitude on your part. That is more difficult than you may realize but the effort will be worth it.