Ärzte ohne Grenzen Handy

Doctors without borders

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Richard Staudner

There are professions that demand an incredible amount of energy from a person. Professions that for some are more than just a job.  

Picture this...

To be allowed to practice your desired profession

  • you have to read, understand and apply thousands of pages of literature
  • pass countless hard tests
  • years of hard work for little money until you get your degree (and that can take a long time)

And then when you are done you may:

  • Working nights, weekends and holidays
  • Concentrate for hours and not make any (big) mistakes
  • take responsibility over other people's lives 

Hmm, yes the talk here is of surgeons, ICU doctors and others in responsible medical professions. 

Over the past 10 years, I have been able to experience these professions very closely. Fortunately for me, not as a patient. 

Let's imagine the daily routine of a surgeon in cardiology or neurology. 

An eight-hour open-heart surgery on a child. A young human life in the hand. Now nothing should go wrong. 

Hats off to anyone who decided to take on such a task.

Eight or more hours of full concentration and focus. One mistake can cost the patient's life. 

I have witnessed this firsthand several times and have always asked myself the question:

  • What effects does an occupation of this type have on health?
  • If the pressure is so high, how can a person remain efficient for many years or decades?
  • How can you keep everyday performance at its optimum without having to reach for the prescription pad yourself?
  • Can optimization even prevent errors?

And my biggest question was: What can I do for this professional group? 

What can I do to help this professional group do its job even better?

How can my work help physicians and people with similar responsibilities stay at the optimal level of their performance? 

The power of external influences

There are external influences that can have an incredible effect on the human body. Unfortunately, also those with a negative effect. 

Night work and permanent pressure from responsibility can, over time, severely erode our basic substance. 

Night work is unfortunately not in the sense of our biological clock, or let's say against our nature. The night is there to sleep. It always has been. 

Night shifts cause serious imbalances in the human organism. 

Continuous high responsibility, which is always associated with a little risk, can cause harm, just like night work.  

Our body is evolutionarily accustomed to the alternation between stress and relaxation. Danger from wild animals, threatening climate and famine alternated with rest and less dangerous times. 

The alternation between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, between tension and relaxation, hardly takes place at times. 

One is under continuous current! Even an engine is switched off after use and finds rest. 

The biological damage

Biologically, in the long run, such external stresses lead to predation at the cellular level. The mitochondria, our cellular power plants, become more inefficient in their ability to produce energy. Through proper nutrition and supplementation, one can counteract this. But this is only half the solution. A quick fix. The entire lifestyle should be adjusted in an attempt to create a balance. 

This mitochondrial energy production can be measured in the blood, but it is also easier. With a little self-reflection, you can see relatively quickly how this energy production is doing. Of course, other systems, not only our mitochondria, are affected. The production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, acetylcholine and serotonin, for example, also suffer. This affects our drive, our ability to concentrate, and our satisfaction. 

Are you interested in how you are doing? Then please answer the following questions and assign numbers from 0-10. 

A 0 means that in your experience this ability is currently very weak. You cannot currently use or feel this ability. 

A 10 means this ability is currently at its maximum potency level. It doesn't get any better than that! 

  • What is your drive like? Do you have the full motivation even after many years?
  • How good is your concentration? Am I fully focused even after several hours of work?
  • What about your recovery? Do you have the ability to regenerate from difficult tasks? For example, do you sleep well? 
  • What about your satisfaction? Are you satisfied with yourself and what you do? Are you happy?

You've probably already guessed, a high score is desirable. I would like at least a 6-7 to speak of healthy. I would call an 8 fit. If you rate a skill as a 9 or 10, then you are among the top performers in that area and have reached the PerforMax level. Then just try to maintain that level. 

More is no more!

These abilities can be controlled by simple measures and, with the right knowledge, their personal potential can be fully exploited.

The goal should be to reach and maintain the maximum performance level and thus be able to successfully treat or operate as a physician for many years. 

The amusing thing about this is that we often do more by doing less. 

Our body and mind often react with a reduction of these abilities when you demand too much. Like an engine that is always running. Which is why downshifting, simply "doing less" is often the solution. 

Of course, this is not so easy to do and I do not hope that the surgeons I know will stop what they are doing. And you probably can't do this profession part-time either. Therefore, the solution must be sought elsewhere.  

What can you change to realize your potential? 

Nutrition & Food Supplement

Did you know that there is a diet that can sharpen our concentration and maintain our focus for hours? 

No more canteen trauma! No more afternoon fatigue! No more winter blues, no more spring fatigue! Coffee tsunamis are then passe.   

Forget vegan, Mediterranean or Paleo. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about Brain Nutrition, foods that give your brain and also your body the chance to run optimally. 

Or did you know that there are supplements that boost our drive and provide us with energy for hours? Yes, you can influence your motivation and concentration! Without side effects. 🙂 

Movement and mind 

And did you know that the right physical activity with the right load, that is, not too much and not too little, can unleash new forces in you. Forces that can easily get you through your day and all its tasks. 

Yes! Your body must also play along! 

Yes, and there are even simple exercises that optimize the structure and functioning of our brain, making you even fitter for everyday work. Can you train yourself to think faster? A clear yes from my side. Studies prove it several times. 

I am aware that in our latitudes meditation still has very little appeal. 

But just one example! A study has proven that regular meditation (e.g. body scan) can double reaction time. Ok, this is where it gets interesting! 

This is only a small excerpt, there is much more potential to bring our body and mind to the PerforMax level. 

If you now think that you can benefit from my ideas, please browse far in my blog! I am sure you will find a lot of useful information. 

Or you can email me if you need input faster!

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Richard Staudner

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