Saturday, March 1, 2014

Burnout and Resiliency in Medicine

I have not blogged in a while; there are many reasons for this, including many things going on in my life as well as with my work as a medical educator and administrator.  The weather here in the Midwest has also been challenging this winter (and another storm headed this way over the next 24 hours) which likely has contributed to my lack of blogging.

Nevertheless, I really enjoy what I do and find meaning in my work.  In fact, a timely discussion with residents during a teaching clinic highlighting this really hit home.  We were talking about burnout and ways to combat it.  The practice of medicine is hard: helping improve the health of our patients is a privilege which brings great responsibility.  This can, however, impact physicians’ own lives in various ways.

Social media itself (in the form of blogging) can be a great tool to ease burnout in medicine.  See this recent blog on this very topic. 

Can burnout be prevented?  What about resiliency in medicine?  Does one's resiliency lessen the potential impact of burnout?  Our institution is proud to host the FIRM (Finding Inspiration and Resilience in Medicine) conference on April 25, 2014.  This conference is being organized by medical students, which really demonstrates how our future generation is paving the way for the necessary changes to the way medicine can and will be practiced.  At that conference, one of our own faculty who wrote a recent post on this topic will be featured. 

So what steps do you take to prevent burnout?  How can you develop the resilience necessary to stay on top of your game and be the best you can be for patients and for yourself/your family?  Some have described interventions during training that impact burnout.  These curricular efforts should be applauded, and are one step towards an improved culture in medicine that helps everyone: patients and health care professionals alike. 


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