Dr. Joel Lavine recently discussed the benefits of physician volunteerism.
DEL MAR, CA / Physician volunteerism helps communities in need, and it helps the volunteers too. Dr. Joel Lavine is a former volunteer physician for the American Liver Foundation. He recently discussed how this form of volunteerism can be as beneficial for the doctors as for the patients.
“We often hear physicians talk about how busy they perform numerous responsibilities day in and day out,” Dr. Lavine said. “However, they don’t know that volunteering can ease burnout and increase their passion.”
Volunteering Decreases Stress and Anxiety
Excess anxiety and stress are often associated with medical professions. Physicians work on tight schedules and perform drastically more tasks than assessing patient needs. They often take many of the difficulties of their jobs home with them.
According to MDLinx, anxiety and stress reduction are two of the many benefits volunteerism can have on the body and mind.
Joel Lavine explained that the clinics open for volunteering often operate on government financing. They’re not ruled by the same economics as a private practice. That means doctors aren’t confined to 15 minutes with each patient, allowing them to provide superior, more fulfilling care.
“Volunteerism helps a doctor get to know a patient,” Lavine said. “We’re more able to see the benefits of the time we spend with them and how our careers are truly life-saving.”
A Superior Sense of Purpose
Dr. Lavine continued to describe that the back-to-back patient consultations, government scrutiny, and rising costs disconnect many physicians from why they strived so hard for this career in the first place. He explained that volunteerism helps fight the emotional depletion that many physicians face.
“A major problem with physician burnout is that doctors lose their sense of accomplishment and purpose,” Lavine said. “Volunteerism restores that sense of purpose. Many fellow physicians state that physician volunteerism resets their desire to heal others and provides a tangible sense of worth.”
Joel Lavine on Serving Oneself and the World
Dr. Lavine described physician volunteerism as self-serving and world-serving. Volunteering undoubtedly serves the community, providing them with free or affordable care. Physicians quickly see that they’re experiencing as many benefits of the patients through helping others without any monetary or notoriety benefits. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Dr. Joel Lavine is an expert in metabolic liver disease, pediatric cholestasis causes, viral hepatitis biology, and more. He worked as a volunteer physician for the American Liver Foundation and encourages every physician who has the opportunity to do the same.
Finding Volunteer Opportunities
Many physician volunteer opportunities are available to doctors around the globe. Dr. Lavine suggests contacting the American Red Cross, the American Liver Foundation, the U.S. Peace Corps, or the American College of Physicians to learn more.