Physician wellness and burnout are hot topics in medicine right now.
Part of the AAO 2018 experience included opportunities to enhance physician wellness through a variety of activiteis including pet therapy, massage therapy, and community service. The YO Committee organized a special YO Lounge Power Hour on Physical Wellness: Movement, Yoga and Mindfulness at Work just for YOs to enhance their wellness.
Camille Palma, MD, a vitreoretinal surgeon and a certified yoga instructor shared her expertise with YOs, leading participants through short yoga sequences designed specifically for ophthalmologists focusing on shoulders, back, hips and hands.
YOs learned simple poses that they can practice between patients or in the OR. She also discussed breathing and posture techniques that can be used throughout the work day for proper ergonomics and stress management. She stressed the importance of moving our bodies every day and how taking a mindful approach to our own wellness can be easily incorporated into our busy lives. Here are some of her tips:
- We use our hands all day. We need to stretch and exercise them too.
- Good posture to support your back is important in the OR and while examining patients at the slit lamp. It’s important to keep your back straight. The improved posture helps support your back but also improves your lung capacity.
- Breathing exercises are a great way to increase oxygenation to your brain and also help to relax you in a easy form of meditation.
- We must take care of ourselves so we can take care of our patients!