The arrival of 2019 has many clinicians resolving to take better care of themselves.
 
In honor of the new year, we asked Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health clinicians to share their real-life strategies for improving wellness and work-life balance.
 

William H. Adams, M.D.

Jennifer L. DeLutis, M.D.

Vito J. DiCamillo, M.D.

T. Raymond Foley III, M.D.

Gary S. Gehman, M.D.

William H. Adams, M.D., President, LGH Medical & Dental Staff

  • I find spending time in prayer and reflecting on God’s blessings daily to be of help.

  • Carve time out for date night with your spouse on a regular basis.

  • Make sure to eat meals together as a family several times a week, and spend some time together playing board games or enjoying the outdoors together on a regular basis.

Jennifer L. DeLutis, M.D., Treasurer, LGH Medical & Dental Staff

I am finding that setting a fitness goal and committing to an event to celebrate that goal has been keeping me motivated to exercise the last few months. My husband and I are hiking into and out of the Grand Canyon in May 2019. Our mantra is, “Going into the canyon is optional, getting out is mandatory!”
 
I’ve also decided to set some work boundaries to allow my home life to thrive and stop the slippery slope of work intrusion into family time.  I need this time to recharge!  I’m more committed to work and less distracted while here (and much more pleasant to work with!) when I’m not exhausted from overextending myself in off-hours.
 
Vito J. DiCamillo, M.D., Medical Director, LG Health Physicians Urgent Care

We have spent the last two years trying to make Urgent Care the best possible place to work in our system. Our only ask is that you work hard and happily when you are there and play hard when you are not. We really don’t want people working when they are not at work.
 
From a personal standpoint, I haven’t always practiced what I preached. But recently I have started to say to myself that if it is good for my team, it is good for me. I have been attempting to take more PTB. I try not to look at or address work email after-hours or on weekends if I can. I regularly reach out to our coaches. I have also being trying to prioritize my family the same way I prioritize work. Putting the cell phone away and just being present is most important. I love my golden retrievers. Playing with them is one of my favorite things to do when I’m not at work.
 
T. Raymond Foley III, M.D., President, LG Health Physicians

For me two very simple strategies seem to work:

  • Carving out time to spend with family and friends

  • Engaging in some type of physical activity several times a week

Gary S. Gehman, M.D., Regional Medical Director, LG Health Physicians

  • Exercise, exercise, exercise: I try to start every day with at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (elliptical or rowing), and three days a week, I also do weight training. It’s absolutely essential to my well-being, helps me burn off stress and gets me focused for my day.

  • I try to approach my work as a physician and Regional Medical Director with at least some sense of humor. We have to be able to look at ourselves and the things we deal with sometimes and laugh, or we will lose perspective and more importantly, lose the joy in the very challenging but rewarding work that we do every day.

  • I try to always remember how incredibly lucky I am to have a job in which patients put their faith and trust in me, share their fears and joys, and make me feel like I actually make a difference in their lives.

Christopher D. Kager, M.D.

Pamela A. Vnenchak, M.D.

Christopher D. Kager, M.D., Chief, LGH Division of Neurosurgery

  • I try to give myself 30-60 minutes before starting in the office or operating room to think and send/answer emails or messages.  I often cannot get to them during the day, when things are busy.  And my staff knows I may not be able to get back to them unless it is urgent.

  • I try to carve out time each day to do something active: tennis, platform tennis, running, gym.  I use my treadmill and home gym often. I try to have a definite “end time” in the office to facilitate this.

  • Sleep is very important (especially to me), and I make every effort to get seven to eight hours each night. Call nights can be tough, and I try to catch up the next night.

  • We try to schedule one or two family things each week, even if it is just dinner out together or watching one of my daughter’s equestrian events.  Everyone is busy, but family time is a must. It keeps me “connected” with everyone.

  • My whole family eats mostly vegan. I find this has helped my overall sense of how I feel in general.

  • It might seem counterintuitive, but I also spend an hour or two on most weekends (even if Sunday afternoon or evening) finishing off emails/messages and “preparing” for the upcoming week.  Putting together a “list” for the week and going over things with my wife puts my mind at ease.

  • Speaking of my wife, her support is vital. I could not do what I do without her.

Pamela A. Vnenchak, M.D., Chair, LGH Department of Family and Community Medicine

I have been keeping a gratitude journal.  I write down three things I am thankful for every day.

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