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Burnt Out On Burnout?

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Published by physicians specifically for physicians and other healthcare workers, Your Weekly Dose of Positive Medicine is a carefully curated collection of ideas that have been proven to help us live better.

If you are like most doctors, you are sick of hearing about burnout. I know I am. There is a big debate on whether burnout is real or whether physicians are suffering from something more sinister like moral injury or human rights violations. That doesn’t matter. In the end, no matter what name the problem, the real issue is that physicians are in fact suffering. We are suffering a lot. 

“The real issue that physicians are in fact suffering. We are suffering a lot.” 

Physicians are among the most intelligent, hard-working and (yes) resilient people in the world. Do we really need more resilience modules to help us get through our days?  We are suffering because we have lost our ability to focus on what matters most. We are suffering because we refuse to stand together in the defense of our colleagues and the ideal practice of medicine. It is time to reclaim the joy and meaning in our work and in our lives. It is time to live the kind of life we all dreamed of living when we were young. We may be suffering but we are not weak. We are strong. We are already resilient enough.

Many of us no longer experience the same levels of meaning and fulfillment that should be inherent to the practice of medicine. We want to spend more time with our patients but we trade presence for productivity. We crave meaningful connections with the sick but find ourselves hoping this will be their last complaint. We want to go home energized after a day of serving others but find ourselves too exhausted to play with our kids. 

There are many great resources out there advising us how to improve our well-being. Unfortunately, many of these tips and tools lack scientific rigor and the advice that can be effective often gets lost in the noise of our daily news feed. As physicians trained in Positive Psychology, we have created the ultimate resource for physician well-being. Published by physicians specifically for physicians and other healthcare workers, Your Weekly Dose of Positive Medicine is a carefully curated collection of ideas that have been proven to help us live better. Rather than assume a passive role of an under-appreciated, burnt out physician desperate to leave medicine, we can use this advice along with our unique combination of intelligence, creativity and grit to reclaim the joy and meaning in our personal and professional lives.