Doubt. Regret. Grief. Stress. Emergency physicians are well acquainted with these emotions.
In the July 2017 issue of The Pulse, ACOEP’s President Elect Christine Giesa, DO, FACOEP-d explored the “ghost within,” an amalgamation of these feelings that prey on a doctor’s psyche.
The Pulse Editor and ACOEP Board Member, Tim Cheslock, DO, also addressed these issues and explored the idea of replenishing a physician’s reserves of resiliency and the ability to deal with the onslaught of trauma that emergency physicians work with on a day in and day out basis.
While the term “physician burnout” has become a familiar drumbeat in the healthcare conversation, many physicians ignore the signs and symptoms of burnout and fatigue until they become overwhelmed.
According to an AMA study, emergency medicine has the highest level of burnout of any specialty from 2013-2017.
There are many avenues for help. If you find yourself exhausted and on the precipice of burnout, do not hesitate to seek help. You are not alone and your struggles are very real. Below are some communities and tools that can help you to cope with the ongoing stress of practicing medicine.
One tool in your arsenal to fight the ghosts within is to be aware of the signs of burnout. This article from Physician’s Weekly can be very helpful.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with burnout and think about hurting yourself or someone else, NAMI has a 24/7/365 helpline with professionals that can help. You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Recently the AOA formed the Physician Wellness Taskforce to address these concerns. Check out the DO’s recent article. Experts on the taskforce weigh in on prevention tactics, tip for dealing with existing burnout and supporting your colleagues.
How many of you have experienced the signs of burnout? Watch Scientific Assembly’s Keynote Speaker Z.Dogg MD’s moving look into the life of a physician.
To find Dr. Giesa’s full article in The Pulse, click here.