Long hours, electronic health records, and administrative hassles don’t give you much to laugh about, but a little humor can help you (and your patients) get through the day. Here are some ways to lighten the mood in your practice:
Dress accordingly. Professional dress doesn't have to be devoid of life and personality. It can still be fun. For example, if you have to wear a tie, consider trading in your paisley stripes for Charlie Brown or the Cat in the Hat. Or try some interesting suspenders. Your pediatric patients will love it even if no one else does.
Mix it up. Stop responding on “auto pilot” and do something unexpected. For example, the next time someone casually asks how you are doing, try an atypical response. Another way to break out of the routine in a fun way is to replace your plain yellow sticky notes with ones that include a humorous saying or drawing. Or use a novelty pen, such as a replica of the bones of a human finger. Items like these are surprisingly easy to find online.
Tell a joke. Of course, it has to be appropriate, but some of the funniest jokes can be told in anyone's company. The Good, Clean Funnies List has an archive of jokes “clean enough to share with your family and friends.” You can subscribe to receive one a day.
Share the joy. Finding humor in the workplace doesn't have to be a solo journey. Ask your office staff or your patients (when appropriate) if they've heard any good jokes lately. They may be surprised by your question at first, but before you know it, they'll be bringing jokes to every visit. You may even find that sharing a laugh can put a nervous patient at ease and help strengthen your relationship.
Read the full FPM article: “Adding a Dose of Levity to Practice.”
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