Grand Rounds: Burning Down The House (Of Medicine) | Burnout
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Welcome to this session of grand rounds, a collection of posts I have discovered in the blogosphere and have found of interest and hope you do too.
Although the term burnout was first coined in the early 70s, it would take several decades before this phenomena, that has gripped the medical profession, became more popularized.
In my post “Burnout Continuum,” I suggested that burnout was not an all or none phenomena but instead had a more insidious course and listed several factors as root problems plaguing the current crop of practicing physicians..
An anonymous physician on Kevin MD is frustrated with the current medical system and points to increasing risk for burnout in, “Physicians Have Become Devalued In Modern Healthcare.”
They say love is like war.
Well how about medicine?
In the STATNEWS article, “Physicians Aren’t “Burning Out.” They’re Suffering From Moral Injury,” the physician author equates the detrimental effect of being in the front line of medicine to that of a combat soldier and how this may be misinterpreted as burnout.
Yet another anonymous physician on Kevin MD provides the stark reality on how the “light at the end of the tunnel” we mention when completing our residencies is not so bright and in fact may be darker due to burnout in, “This Burned Out Physician Was Happier As A Resident.”
Leave it to medical students to create mnemonics for everything.
Medical students are a smart bunch, realizing that some medical specialties are more conducive to better lifestyles than others.
You guessed it.
They created a mnemonic for the so called, “Lifestyle Specialties,” terming it the ROAD to success (Radiology, Ophthalmology, Anesthesiology, and Dermatology).
However just because you are a full fledged member of one of these specialties does not mean you are immune to burnout.
A beloved member of the physician financial community, radiologist Vagabond MD, graciously opens up about the fight with his burnout demons in a riveting post at The Happy Philosopher titled, “Adventures In Burnout: One Physician’s Story.”
Fortunately there is a growing breed of physicians that are now escaping the grips of burnout and taking meaningful precautions to prevent it from ever taking hold again.
Dr. Charmaine Gregory tells of her personal struggle with burnout and subsequent reclamation of her wellness in the Doximity article, “How I Beat Burnout.”
Want an easy way to combat burnout practicing medicine?
The simplest is to reduce your actual clinical hours.
This is the path that I have chosen at this stage in my career.
I have opted to reduce my clinical hours to a 4 day work week.
It has done wonders to my psyche and allows me to recharge my batteries.
I came to this solution on my own, but now I have science to back it up with the New York Times article, “A 4-day Workweek? A Test Run Shows A Surprising Result.”
Of course many physicians are unable to take the financial hit dropping a day of clinical practice would cause to their bottom line and thus feel financially imprisoned by their work schedule.
This signifies the importance of becoming financially independent as quickly as possible so that you can break free from this time-money trade-off and reclaim your life.
The Physician Philosopher eloquently describes why achieving financial independence may be your best weapon in the fight against burnout in, “3 Ways Financial Independence May Save The Practice of Medicine.”
Physician Heal Thyself!
It is a common paradox that plagues the medical community.
As providers of medical care we can recite from rote memory all the things that need to be done to improve life for a patient.
Yet physicians themselves are among the most difficult of patients.
We minimize/ignore our ailments in order to continue plodding away at our demanding work schedules, putting ourselves in harms way with burnout risk.
Well I am happy to say that there is a developing band of merry men (and women) that are pioneering a new life blueprint for us to follow so that we can prioritize our own lives and finally heal ourselves.
Crispy Doc has compiled a list of these avant garde physicians in, “Doctors Who Cut Back Early.”
Hope you enjoyed the reading material.
Have a great rest of the week.
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Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.
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