Shaping your career to maximize personal satisfaction in the practice of oncology
ABSTRACT The practice of oncology can be a source of both great satisfaction and great stress. Although many oncologists experience burnout, depression, and dissatisfaction with work, others experience tremendous career satisfaction and achieve a high overall quality of life. Identifying professional goals, optimizing career fit, identifying and managing stressors specific to practice type, and achieving the optimal personal work-life balance can increase the likelihood of individual oncologists' achieving personal and professional satisfaction. In this article, we will explore how oncologists can accomplish these tasks and will examine several pervasive professional myths that often distort perspective. The article concludes in a conversation with four oncologists regarding what they find most meaningful about their work, how they manage career-specific stressors, and how they achieve balance between their personal and professional lives.
SourceAvailable from: Shanchita Rahnuma Khan[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Purpose Two key recovery experiences mediating the relationship between work demands and well-being are psychological detachment and relaxation over leisure time. The process of recovery from work-related stress plays an important role in maintaining well-being, but is poorly understood in cancer workers. The aim of this exploratory study was to examine the relationships of burnout, psychological well-being and work engagement with the recovery experiences of psychological detachment and relaxation in oncology staff. Methods A cross sectional survey of 573 cancer workers in Queensland was conducted (response rate 56%). Oncology nurses (n = 211) represented the largest professional group. Staff completed surveys containing demographics and psychosocial questionnaires measuring burnout, psychological distress, work engagement and recovery experience. Multiple regression analyses were performed to identify explanatory variables which were independently associated with Recovery Experience Score (RES). Results There was a negative association between the RES and burnout (p = 0.002) as well as psychological distress (p < 0.0001), but not work engagement. Age >25 years was negatively correlated with RES as was having a post graduate qualification, being married or divorced, having carer commitments. Participating in strenuous exercise was associated with high recovery (p = 0.015). Conclusions The two recovery experiences of psychological detachment and relaxation had a strong negative association to burnout and psychological well-being, but not work engagement. Further research needs to be undertaken to better understand if improving recovery experience reduces burnout and improves the well-being of cancer workers.European Journal of Oncology Nursing 09/2014; 19(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ejon.2014.08.003 · 1.79 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: IntroductionThe aim of this study was to determine the self-reported prevalence of stress, job satisfaction and burnout among radiation oncologists in Australia and New Zealand. A secondary aim was to determine the association between stress and satisfaction parameters with burnout.Methods An anonymous online survey was distributed to all radiation oncologists listed on Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists membership database. There were 37 Likert scale questions on stress, 17 Likert scale questions on job satisfaction and burnout assessed by the Maslach Burnout Inventory – Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS). A principal component analysis was done for stress and satisfaction to identify specific areas. Independent samples t-tests and analysis of variances were done.ResultsThere were 220 responses out of 348 eligible respondents (63.2% response rate).For stress, a principal component analysis identified five areas: delivery demands, demands on time, continuing professional development (CPD), value and security, and interpersonal/teaching demands. Specialist radiation oncologists were more stressed by value and security than generalists (P < 0.01). Lung cancer specialists had higher levels of stress associated with delivery demands, demands on time and CPD compared with others (P = 0.01). Those over 60 years were less stressed by delivery demands (P = 0.02), demands on time (P = 0.01) and CPD (P = 0.01) than their younger colleagues. Four satisfaction factors were identified in the principal component analysis: resources/remuneration, stress/security, delivery of services and professional activities. Males and Australian radiation oncologists were more satisfied with professional activities (P = 0.02). Brachytherapy specialists were more satisfied with status/security (P = 0.01) while those interested in urology were more satisfied with resources/renumeration (P = 0.01) and professional activities (P = 0.01). The burnout results revealed at least 48.5% of respondents scoring highly in at least one of the three measures of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and personal accomplishment) while 37.5% scoring highly in the emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation subscales. Public sector radiation oncologists had higher levels of emotional exhaustion and lower levels of personal accomplishment than their private sector counterparts, while those interested in lung cancer had higher levels of emotional exhaustion. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the stress subscale demands on time had a significant effect on emotional exhaustion. Higher CPD stress and interpersonal/teaching demands increased the feeling of depersonalisation, while satisfaction with delivery of services was associated with lower levels of depersonalisation and higher levels of personal accomplishment.Conclusions This first study of stress, satisfaction and burnout among radiation oncologists in Australia and New Zealand had a reasonable response rate and identified specific areas of stress and satisfaction. Nearly half of the respondents scored highly in one burnout subscale. Some of the stress and satisfaction subscales correlated with certain aspects of burnout. Further research will be undertaken to refine the stress and satisfaction parameters and address burnout interventions.Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology 09/2014; DOI:10.1111/1754-9485.12217 · 0.95 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This commentary came from within the framework of integrating the humanities in medicine and from accompanying research on disease-related issues by teams involving clinicians and researchers in medical humanities. The purpose is to reflect on the challenges faced by researchers when conducting emotionally laden research and on how they impact observations and subsequent research findings. This commentary is furthermore a call to action since it promotes the institutionalization of a supportive context for medical humanities researchers who have not been trained to cope with sensitive medical topics in research. To that end, concrete recommendations regarding training and supervision were formulated.Journal of Medical Humanities 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10912-014-9325-1