Communicate. “I notice that you seem to not being enjoying work as much the last few weeks. What do you think that’s about?”…. Try to get your spouse to open up about why he/she is feeling in a funk – that may help him/her release some negative thoughts that have built up and show you how you may be able to help the situation.
Reduce overwhelm. Sometimes when flow and passion for the field is lost it’s because he/she is feeling overwhelmed by other things. It’s difficult to appreciate your passion for dentistry and/or business ownership when you feel suffocated by team issues, paperwork, treatment plans, etc. Perhaps some of what is piling up can be delegated to an office manager or maybe he/she needs your help carving out some time in an evening or weekend to get caught up.
Rediscover the passion. Day to day life can become mundane for any professional. Dentistry is an especially difficult career where there is often limited reinforcement of a job well done – patients are grateful to just have their appointment be done and get the heck out of there versus being complimentary of how amazing that crown margin is and the team is just happy to have stayed on schedule and gotten to leave on time (as examples). It can become a drag. Ask your spouse what he/she loves about being a dentist and what they aren’t loving about the current situation. Perhaps he/she wants to do more cosmetic cases and feels stuck with only basic restorative cases – that knowledge helps determine how to shift marketing for the practice. Professional development can also be a great way to get reinspired – there are many free, short online courses that could get your spouse excited again or plan a travel trip somewhere fun to get some new learning in. Almost always, CE helps doctors get back in the game.
Get out of dentistry. Sometimes when work becomes a grind it’s because we haven’t taken enough time to do other things we enjoy. Does your spouse love hiking, hunting, running, shopping, etc? Help him/her carve out time to do recreational activities that he/she enjoys. Having a work life balance is crucial for being able to stay motivated in all areas of life. Your doctor spouse may just need to hear from someone that loves them that they deserve time for themselves too.