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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