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Health

Physicians Suffer From Moral injury, Not Burnout

By Burnout, Guest Post, HealthNo Comments

Burnout has come to be defined as a workplace syndrome from chronic exposure to job-related stress. It is the constellation of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment. More than half of physicians report at least one of these symptoms. The consequences of burnout are not just detrimental to physicians themselves, but also the people around them. Loss in productivity, high-risk behavior, disregard for safety procedures, more referrals, additional diagnostic tests and poor care are among the manifestations of physician burnout. Additionally, substance abuse, family breakups, poor health, depression and even suicide may also be extreme consequences of burnout. Burnout does not have to manifest by these catastrophic events; it can show up in small ways. Some of the subtler indicators of burnout include anger, aggression, nastiness, snide comments and disrespect for other physicians and health care professionals. Read More

The Time Has Come to Bring Physician Wellness to the Forefront of Our Profession

By Burnout, Health, Work-Life BalanceNo Comments

I chose to be a neurosurgeon because I sought a life bringing healing to those with neurological diseases. After completing my training with a tremendous sense of pride, I was prepared to have an impact on patients and families in their time of greatest need and hopelessness. I ended each day with the knowledge that I had given my all. Like many others, I ignored fatigue and underestimated the accumulated trauma of occasions where I gave all I had, but the patient’s disease won. My blessings were my family, my resolve and my mission. Read More

Physician Burnout in Neurosurgery: An Under-Recognized Phenomenon

By Burnout, Health, Work-Life BalanceNo Comments

As conversations about work-life balance are becoming more prevalent, and given the stresses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a renewed interest in the issue of physician burnout. Burnout is a long-term stress reaction marked by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a lack of sense of personal accomplishment. In recent years, the rising prevalence of burnout among clinicians — more than 50 percent according to a Medscape report — has led to probing questions on how it affects access to care, patient safety and care quality. Burned-out physicians are more likely to leave their practices or the practice of medicine altogether, which reduces patients’ access to and continuity of care. Burnout can also threaten patient safety and care quality when depersonalization leads to poor interactions with patients, and when burned-out physicians suffer from impaired attention, memory and executive function. Read More

Lasting Change: Assessing the Potential Long Term Impact of COVID-19

By COVID-19, HealthNo Comments

“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court

The economic, medical, political and psychological tsunami unleashed by the COVID-19 virus is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetime. The traumatic disruption of 9-11 was limited in comparison to our current crisis. While impossible to include up to the minute statistics, already more than 15 million cases have been confirmed with at least 620,000 deaths, and U.S. unemployment is approximately 11%. Is it possible that any good will come of these months of tragedy and lock-down? What do we know about the immediate and longer-term consequences on us as humans, on the health care community and neurosurgery? I have been given the monumental task of trying to peer into that future as the Neurosurgery Blog’s focus on COVID-19 draws to a close. Read More

Aerosolization, Endonasal Surgery and the Neurosurgeon

By COVID-19, HealthNo Comments

Neurosurgeons never stop learning. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, previously obscure terms such as airflow and aerosolization — the dispersal of a substance such as medicine or viral particles in the form of an aerosol — have entered our regular lexicon. We can now readily identify which of our operating rooms has the highest airflow — usually the smallest room — and the standard for the minimum number of air exchanges per hour, which is at least 15. Read More

COVID-19 and Prevalence of Stroke: Making Sense of the Data

By COVID-19, Health, StrokeNo Comments

The current COVID-19 pandemic has been a singular event with far-reaching societal and medical ramifications. The enormity of the crisis and the alacrity of its spread across the globe has led to a rapidly evolving understanding of the disease. Current knowledge of the pandemic and the effect of the virus on the human body may become obsolete by week’s end. The COVID-19 crisis’s impact on the care of stroke patients is emblematic of these issues. Over the past few months, several data points have emerged that have been interpreted in divergent ways. Read More

Stroke Month: Continued Progress in Research and Patient Care

By COVID-19, Faces of Neurosurgery, Guest Post, HealthOne Comment

On average, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds. Acute ischemic stroke remains one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. and around the world. The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that in 2016 there were 5.5 million deaths attributable to cerebrovascular disease worldwide — 2.7 million of those deaths were from ischemic stroke. May is National Stroke Awareness Month and provides the opportunity to remember patients who are survivors of this dreaded disease and highlight the physicians and researchers at the forefront of progress to improve care and outcomes in stroke. Read More