In a recent article by Pratihba Gopalakrishna, a new study is discussed that focuses on burnout and how commonplace it may be. However, Drs. Wendy Dean and Simon Talbot believe the definition of burnout needs to be reexamined.
“If we’re going to talk about the condition of burnout, then we need to be much more rigorous about applying a strict definition and measure so that everybody’s talking about the same thing using the same scale,” said Wendy Dean, a psychiatrist and the co-founder of the nonprofit organization Moral Injury of Healthcare. Dean was not involved in the new research.
In this piece entitled A Yoga Mat Won’t Fix Your Moral Injury by Ira Bedzow, PhD, moral injury is explored by Dr. Bedzow as a medical ethicist.
But people who suffer from moral injury are not slogging through endless tasks, and they are certainly not losing interest and motivation–they are hurting. And their hurt comes from their perceived inability to meet personal and professional expectations and the moral accountability they feel by their sense of failure.
Drs. Wendy Dean and Simon G. Talbot are highlighted as the experts leading the way on solutions for moral injury. As Dr. Bedzow notes, yoga mats and meditation are not longterm solutions for moral injury.
For many of the nation’s physicians, doctoring has become an almost unrecognizable activity, and it started long before the COVID-19 crisis. Unfortunately, the doctors have no idea how to take care of themselves. Dr. Wendy Dean’s personal and professional stories are highlighted in this piece by Psychology Today’s Hara Marano.
Physicians took two hard hits in May 2019. The first: the WHO will include a more detailed description of burnout as an occupational phenomenon in the International Classification of Diseases-11. The second: physician burnout costs the healthcare system $4.6 billion each year.
This was originally published in the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine in April of 2020. Please contact us if you’d like a copy of the PDF.
Dr. Wendy Dean discusses why the term “burnout” does not encompass the full scope of the problem of physician distress with the team at Medscape, and what can be done to address physician career dissatisfaction. It starts with accurate terminology. Watch below or the transcription can be found here.