“Self Care” And Physician Burnout

Check this out. Once again in my search for bloggable material this afternoon, I encountered ten or so pieces on the topic of physician burnout. I’ve seen hundreds of posts on this theme over the course of 2019, and probably added 10 myself. BUT. Today I was finally struck by an important dichotomy. Half of the pieces focused on the theme that if physicians took care of themselves (got plenty of exercise, did a good job of financial planning, meditated) they could avoid the ravages of burnout. Other pieces, like the one I am referring you to here, opine that no matter what a physician does to protect herself, a toxic environmental will eventually wear her down.  

Bottom Line. Which is right? I’m going with a little bit of each of these pieces of wisdom. Combined, they sound something like this. Physician burnout is caused by overwhelming factors in the workplace. Solving the problem will require systematic intervention at the institutional level. BUT. Until that happens, each physician is going to need to develop a strategy to protect herself as best she can.  


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