Moral injury occurs when the basic elements of the medical profession are eroded, say Simon G Talbot and Wendy Dean. But how to avoid moral injury in physicians?
In July 2018, the physicians wrote an article that reframed clinician distress as moral injury, rather than burnout. In our view, “burnout” suggests a lack of resilience on the part of clinicians, implying that better self-care will resolve our distress, whereas “moral injury” more accurately locates the source of distress in a conflict ridden healthcare system.
Now, featured in the BMJ, they’ve expanded on what to do next.
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.