Tuesday, December 18, 2012

5 Stages of Physician Burnout

I was reading Dr. Graham Walker's article, Operation Burnout. It made me ponder, why do nearly 70% of emergency physicians feel burnt out?  Even more concerning, ER docs also have the highest burnout rate of ALL specialties.

Burnout is contagious. It's like MRSA and should be called a "staff infection" because it has a tendency to spread.
Ruptured MRSA abscess (via Wikimedia)
Haven't you noticed that when negative people are around you, it has a tendency to bring your energy down as well?

Jerry Edelwich, author of Burnout, writes that there are 5 stages of burnout:

1. Enthusiasm - When you first start the new position, you are super excited and everything is fresh.

2. Stagnation - Things become routine and everything becomes boring.

3. Frustration - By now, the new car smell has worn off and you see the imperfections. The frustration builds at work.

4. Apathy - It feels like you have no power to change anything, and you decide to go with the flow. The longer you stay in this stage, the harder it is to get out.

5. Inspiration - If you're able to get out of apathy, then you realize you can change or change your environment.

Have the courage to be happy and inspired.

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