After practicing clinical medicine for 11 years in a variety of settings and experiencing the highs and lows of being a doctor, I survived my own journey through burnout and now am honored to help others do the same. I work with physicians at both the individual and organizational level.
In my broader ten year vision for the management of physician burnout, I also hope to reach medical students and training programs so we can prevent burnout in new physicians before it starts.
After researching the topic, I came to realize that physician burnout is not some psychological abnormality, but rather quite the contrary. Given the current construct and the demands of the American healthcare system, I feel that burnout is an almost inevitable response. Contributing factors include: shortened appointments, burgeoning bureaucracy, increased patient expectations, and fear of litigation — just to name a few. However, changes can and must be made to support physicians.
Burnout impacts not only the physicians experiencing the problem, but also their families, the patients they treat, and the organizations where they work. As I have discussed the issue of burnout with hundreds of other physicians, we have come to realize that, if we don’t start to deal seriously with this raging epidemic, it will devastate the American healthcare system. At Heal Thyself MD, we are working on solutions to the problem of physician burnout because we firmly believe and are committed to the idea that we can and we will be able to solve this problem and help physicians rediscover their joy for the practice of medicine.