The concept of moral injury expresses the systemic nature of the strain on physicians and the need for a comprehensive approach to address the problem. The root of the problem is “moral injury” resulting from the multiple roles physicians are playing in contradiction to their moral imperative to take care of patients, Simon Talbot, MD, and Wendy Dean, MD, wrote this month in a blog post published by Medical Economics. Are Your Physician’s Suffering from Moral Injury or Burnout?
The term moral injury has been gaining popularity in the internet-sphere, especially after, Wendy Dean MD and Simon Talbot MD’s article was released on STAT news. Moral Injury is an important topic to discuss as this terminology offers a broader understanding than the word “burnout.”
Burnout suggests a health professional is at fault for their emotional state: they aren’t resilient enough, and that they need to learn to recover better. Yet moral injury suggests something larger is at play. The consequences of this terminology and mindset change are immense, as we learn that hospital dynamics, insurance, litigation, electronic medical records, and policy must evolve, for health professionals to thrive.
Learn from our guests Wendy Dean MD and Simon Talbot as we discuss moral injury and its implications on healthcare.
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.