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Financial Times: ‘I just feel broken’: doctors, mental health and the pandemic.

Burnout and the burden of life-and-death decisions have driven some exhausted front-line staff to the edge. In this long-form piece by Financial Times writer India Ross, Dr. Wendy Dean lends her expertise as a psychiatrist and the framework of moral injury to contextualize the deep trauma facing healthcare workers today.

If article is behind a paywall, please email and we will provide a PDF of the piece.

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Psychology Today: The World in Trauma

Co-authored with Elena Perea, M.D., a psychiatrist and adjunct associate professor at the UNC School of Medicine.

The country of the United States is experiencing complex trauma. That trauma is silently influencing how we think, how we make decisions, and how we act in powerful ways that are predictable to experts in psychological trauma, but often obscure to those in the midst of it. Drs. Dean and Perea explain how this dynamic occurs and how to best address the challenges that accompany it. The world is in deep trauma due to COVID-19.

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The New York Times: How Society has Turned its Back on Mothers: Isn’t just about burnout, it’s about betrayal.

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply burdened mothers – perhaps more so than first anticipated or expected. Dr. Dean shares her perspective, one that holds the framework of moral injury: “what working moms are facing is not identical, but it’s similar, and a consequence of “our society’s decision to pursue profit at all cost.”

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WebMD: Moral Injury: Pandemic’s Fallout for Health Care Workers

Originally used to describe what soldiers experience in wartime, moral injury in health care began to be applied to health care even before the pandemic, says Wendy Dean, MD, a psychiatrist and the president and co-founder of Moral Injury of Healthcare, a nonprofit devoted to reframe clinician distress as moral injury — and to work to improve the source of it, which she and others say is the health care system itself.

“We came onto the pandemic already with distress, and the pandemic hit on top — an acute layer of distress,” Dean says.

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Medical Economics: Top Challenges 2021: #3 Physician burnout and autonomy

Wendy Dean, M.D., a psychiatrist and president and co-founder of Moral Injury of Healthcare, says that following the long period of rigorous training, focusing on independent, critical thinking with strict adherence to algorithms based on reimbursement policies
can be grating.

Beyond the big systemic hurdles that must be crossed to bring this issue under control, Dean recommends that physicians learn how the incentives are aligned at their health care institution.

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Christian Science Monitor: As pandemic surges, where do ‘front-liners,’ business owners find hope?

Mending that internal rupture requires a deliberate effort to reassess our expectations and search for purpose as we await the post-pandemic era, says Dr. Wendy Dean.

“All of us have the need to feel normal,” she says. “But we’re continuing to demand as much of ourselves as we did before – to be the perfect parent, the perfect worker, the perfect student. People have to find a way to have forgiveness for themselves and recognize that they’re doing the very best they can.”

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Array Architects: Setting the Stage for Clinician-Centered Design

In advance of a white paper collaboration with Moral Injury of Healthcare and Array Architects and Design, this article highlights a pivot in design and architecture to clinician centered design.

Today we know, to properly provide for caregivers, we must make changes in support of them. Without sacrificing the strides we’ve made in patient-  and family-centered design, clinician-centered design is meant to highlight the built environment improvements that will maximize the clinician’s health and wellbeing, as well as their productivity and resilience

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