Early on in the life of this website, I have posted about mental illness. Why? Because it is an important, not-discussed-enough, and poorly solved problem that has profound impacts in and out of medicine. Yet, despite my desire to make this a more publicly discussed topic, I was recently seen as making a mental health stigma of someone in my life.
You think you know yourself, but you probably don’t. I certainly thought I knew Steve until Steve’s mom called. She was concerned he might commit suicide. As a third year med student, my biggest lesson of all came outside the hospital. If you are (or ever were) in medical school, please read: Med Student Suicide.
If we are to truly live out the “Do no harm” imperative, we must first make sure that we are not being harmed ourselves. After all, we cannot expect to replenish the empty cup of wellness our patients bring if our cup is empty, too.
The flame that is so strongly lit when applying to medical school commonly dwindles into a slow fade of burnout for many attending physicians. The impact is real and so are the consequences. Today we will discuss some of the causes.
On this Wellness Wednesday, we will discuss three reasons why very few people care about wellness and why I think people who find it worthless are wrong.
Burnout is both prevalent (in residents and attendings), costly (as much as $250,000-$1,000,000 per physician who leaves because of burnout), and deadly (an estimated 400 attending physicians end their life each year). Today we answer the following: As an organization does investing in wellness provides a good return on investment?
I used to think this topic (and many other similar topics) were “mushy” topics that people only discussed if they had problems. I then started to realize that all of us have problems or know someone that does. We can continue to ignore these topics and pretend they aren’t a problem, or we can step up and combat the issue head on. Before we do that, though, we have to define the enemy. What exactly is burnout?