SN//Connect Presents:

Practical Steps for Physician Burnout

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September 28, 2020

Practical Steps for Tackling Mental Health Crisis for Health Care Providers

  • 50% of physicians reported burnout in survey published at the 2020 ESMO Conference
  • Work-life balance may sound like a cliché, but it is extremely important for physicians
  • Balancing household workload between partners can be significant in reducing anxiety and fatigue
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Therapy for physicians is important. Providers can be consumers of therapy, and there should be no shame in seeking help. Dr. Elizabeth Jewell says to identify risk factors. “Middle-aged women, and associate professors tend to be high risk [for mental health issues]. A lot of it has to do with busier clinical practices, job expectations, and responsibilities at home. As a society, we need to figure that out.”

Equality such as balancing the load of household work between a partner is important. There are specific practical steps, including talking about depression and burnout. “It’s not really safe for a physician to report that they’re not doing well. There’s got to be some progress made on that,” says Dr. Dana Chase. “I wish there was a guaranteed safe space where people could go to express burnout.”

Dr. Thomas Herzog notes that physicians don’t set a very good example sometimes when it comes to self-care. He uses the example of having postponed his past three dental appointments. “We all internalize this, and then we see these patients for multiple recurrences – it really is hard. I try to stay active athletically, so I have outlets. But I think we need to lean more on our friends and family than we do.”

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Watch the full event (and get CME credit)