Tag Archives: physician burnout

Raising Awareness of Neurologist Burnout; Defining Paths toward Recovery

With studies revealing that nearly half of neurologists experience at least one symptom of burnout1,2 a special task force was launched in 2016 by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) to research the problem. According to Sankar Bandyopadhyay, MD, associate professor of neurology, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, “The first step in solving any problem, including burnout, is to recognize it. Physicians in general tend to deny, even to themselves, that they may be experiencing burnout.” Physician burnout is marked by feeling emotionally exhausted, being less empathetic with patients and being unsatisfied at work; in some cases there may be depression and substance use, abuse or addiction.3 The abbreviated Maslach Burnout Inventory is a validated self-administered questionnaire that identifies the presence and severity of burnout symptoms.4

Graphic of the cyclical process of burnout: Preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.Dr. Bandyopadhyay points out that there are evidence-based, proven interventions that those experiencing burnout can use to help themselves.5-7 “Maybe the most powerful of these is ‘mindfulness.’ It’s a strategy to reduce stress and re-frame how we think, to experience less frustration and boredom,” he says. In several trials with physician participants, formal mindfulness training significantly decreased depersonalization, emotional exhaustion and overall burnout scores.5-7 Continue reading

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