One doctor’s passions for coin collecting provides an outlet for stress.
Everyone copes with stress differently. But despite their best efforts to manage the daily pressure of work and home life, most people still have limits.
According to the American Institute of Stress, one in five Americans experience extreme stress resulting in shaking, fatigue, and loss of sleep as well as heart palpitations and overeating. In addition, the association reports that stress is the basic cause of 60 percent of all human illness and disease, while a recent study by the American Psychological Association found that more than 30 percent of employed adults admitted to having difficulty managing work and family responsibilities due to stress.
The effects of stress are also rampant throughout the medical field. Last year, a CareerBuilder survey found that “healthcare employees have the highest stress levels and complaint rates of any 9 percent of stressed in their current jobs with 17 percent describing themselves as highly stressed.”1
Unfortunately, chiropractors are not immune to the daily grind of private practice. Your commitment to patient wellness combined with the endless paperwork, staff management responsibilities, and ongoing dedication to perfecting your craft can have severe consequences. As cited by the New York Times, “Research over the last few years has revealed that unrelenting job pressures cause two-thirds of fully trained doctors to experience the emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion characteristic of burnout.”2 Common symptoms are a loss of enthusiasm and empathy, and a declining sense of personal accomplishment.
More than work
Although satisfaction and fulfillment are driving factors behind any thriving chiropractic practice, professionals need far more than work, sleep, and a little family time to physically and mentally shield themselves from the pressure. As a chiropractor in private practice for the past 25 years, I found that the pace of treating 140 to 180 patients weekly (along with the responsibilities of managing a large staff and working with insurance companies) called for a pleasurable outlet outside the office.
Hobbies to choose from
I can’t tell you how or why, but numismatics—coin collection—became my passion of choice. But that’s the beauty and importance of a hobby.
Whether it’s chess, gardening, golf, running, or collecting—the “what” doesn’t matter as long as it’s safe and legal. After spending six days a week in the office fixated on the needs of others, it was rewarding to find something neither mentally nor physically demanding and yet so immersive.
Over the past five years, coins have become a sanctuary for me. With the continued rise in gold and silver prices, rare coin collecting not only provides a significant return on investment, but also the opportunity to explore another passion—early American history dating from the Revolutionary War through the late 1800s.
Plus, it’s a hobby that can be enjoyed anywhere. The thought of finding an extremely rare 1909 S VDB Lincoln cent or 1955/55 Doubled Die Lincoln cent worth thousands of dollars is as exciting as cashing in a winning lottery ticket.
Research before purchase
Anyone interested in this activity should, for starters, research it heavily before making a first purchase. The hobby involves many different levels and niches that can be tailored to personal taste. It’s also important to find reliable dealers. Avoid the “hard sell” options. Reach out to responsive experts, who will happily answer questions while helping you find your niche and maximize investments.
Another benefit is the choice to spend as little or as much as you want. Today, certified gold coins like the Saint Gaudens $20 gold piece or $20 Liberty gold piece are excellent investments that are unlikely to reverse over time. Ranging in cost from $1,500 to more than $10,000 based on their condition, rarity, demand, and intrinsic gold content, they also make valuable keepsakes, conversation pieces, and great sources of pride.
No matter the pursuit, the time needed to simply enjoy life cannot be overlooked. A profession in chiropractic care can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be exhausting. Finding the right outlet for winding down after a tough day will not only make you a better doctor but everything else far more enjoyable too.
Anthony J. DeLuca, DC, is director of DeLuca Family chiropractic in Old Bridge, New Jersey, which specializes in the treatment of personal injuries such as whiplash suffered through traumatic automobile accidents. He can be reached at 732-679-2414 or through dfccares.com.
1 Sullivan K. “Healthcare workers report highest stress levels.” FierceHealthcare. http://www.fierce healthcare.com/story/healthcare-workers- report-highest-stress-levels/2014-02-12. Published Feb. 2014. Accessed Sept. 2015.
2 Chen PW. “Easing Doctor Burnout With Mindfulness.” The New York Times. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/easing-doctor-burnout-with-mindfulness/?_r=0. Published Sept. 2013. Accessed Sept. 2015.