Physician burnout — occurring when a physician becomes very physically and emotionally tired — has been in the news a lot lately, with stories such as:
In a past survey of Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) members, 82 percent said that either they or a physician colleague had experienced burnout during their career. Each year, approximately 400 physicians — about the size of an average medical school class — commit suicide.
“The traditional physician’s white coat is not a super-cape that protects physicians from conditions that affect us all, including burnout,” said Heather Wilson, executive director of The Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and deputy executive vice president of PAMED. “It is critical that those who give so much of themselves to care for others have an awareness of the signs of burnout and take the steps to get help as early as possible.”
Where can physicians turn for help? PAMED and The Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society have many resources available to help physicians identify the symptoms of burnout, as well as coping strategies to alleviate burnout.
Through its Life of Medicine education series, PAMED and The Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society offer a variety of webinars on the topics of burnout and resilience, including:
- Physician Burnout: Resolution and Restoration (CME webinar)
- Physician Resilience (Two-part CME webinar)
- Strategies for Addressing Physician Burnout (video of live session held at PAMED’s 2014 House of Delegates and Annual Education Conference)
An April 15 Modern Healthcare webinar — From Burnout to Engagement: Strategies to Promote Physician Wellness and Workplace Satisfaction — will feature experts in the field of physician burnout, including Dr. Colin West of the Mayo Clinic, and Dr. Michael Krasner of the University of Rochester.
The Physician’s Health Programs (PHP), a program of The Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, provides support and advocacy to physicians struggling with addiction or suffering from physical or mental challenges.