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Accad & Koka Report: Ep. 31 Is moral injury the cause of physician burnout?

Physician burnout has attained epidemic proportions.  It is highest among all professions and new research indicates that doctors commit suicide at a rate that is twice that of the general population, leading to a loss of approximately one physician per day.  And it’s not only doctors who are at risk.  Patients too may suffer the consequences, as medical errors have now been linked to the issue of physician depression and burnout.

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STATNews: Physicians aren’t ‘burning out.’ They’re suffering from moral injury.

Wendy Dean, MD, and Simon Talbot, MD, explore the origin of physician distress with their landmark article on Moral Injury, Physicians aren’t ‘burning out.’ They’re suffering from moral injury.

Moral injury is frequently mischaracterized. In combat veterans it is diagnosed as post-traumatic stress; among physicians it’s portrayed as burnout. But without understanding the critical difference between burnout and moral injury, the wounds will never heal and physicians and patients alike will continue to suffer the consequences.

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Hounsel: PeaceHealth nurses suffering moral injury

To this end, nurses advocated tirelessly for the resources necessary to fulfill that goal, while utilizing an elegant choreography of teamwork borne of years of mutual trust and collegiality. [I] was welcomed immediately into one of the most inclusive and effective nursing cultures I had ever experienced. Read Hounsel: PeaceHealth nurses suffering moral injury in the link below.

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Moral Injury and the Ethics of Educational Injustice

This article uses a case study of a student who is on the verge of expulsion for bringing
pot to school in order to explore a class of ethical dilemmas in which educators have the
obligation to enact justice—to take action that fulfills the demands of justice—but have to do so
under conditions in which no just action is possible because of contextual and school-based
injustices.

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