In our latest piece for STAT News, Drs. Dean and Talbot examine how it is time for leaders of hospitals and health care systems to add another, deeper layer of support for their staff by speaking out publicly and collectively in defense of science, safety, and public health, even if it risks estranging patients and politicians.
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.