Assessment Results: Signs of Extreme Burnout
Based on your answers, you appear to exhibit signs of extreme physician burnout, which can manifest itself in various forms detrimental to your health and wellbeing, including depression, anxiety, disruptive behavioral issues, familial strife, alcoholism, addiction and even suicide. You’ve taken the first step toward mitigating the harmful effects of burnout by identifying your problem, but it is imperative that you immediately work on decreasing your stress and increasing your resilience.
*It is strongly advised that you seek professional help to manage your symptoms, and the following does not constitute medical advice.*
If you experience suicidal thoughts or struggle with alcoholism and/or drug abuse, please contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration today.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Burnout is a sickness of the soul, so nurturing and replenishing your soul is a critical aspect of prevention and recovery. Follow these physician burnout prevention tips based on the new book from Shawn C. Jones, MD, FACS, Finding Heart in Art: A surgeon’s Renaissance Approach to Healing Modern Medical burnout:
1. Develop a spiritual and mindfulness practice
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) techniques have been found to help reduce burnout in health professionals and promote essential skills such as compassion, empathy, patience and forgiveness. Devote at least 15-20 minutes each day to contemplative prayer or meditation to reduce stress and anxiety, regain focus and boost your overall sense of wellbeing.
2. Connect with beauty
Creativity promotes positive mental health and develops vital emotional skills like empathy and sensitivity. Involve yourself in activities that include elements of beauty and creativity, such as listening to music, writing poetry, reading literature, dancing, or even hiking or running a nature trail. By connecting to beauty through creative endeavors, you’ll be able to find beauty and compassion in unexpected places—even in the roughest circumstances.
3. Find your community
Part of minimizing physician burnout is being able to recognize the symptoms and willing to ask for help—that’s why it’s essential to surround yourself with a support system that can raise a red flag if you’re headed down a dark path. Meeting regularly with a close group of friends and sharing advice, opinions and feedback will help you remain connected, balanced and self-aware, keeping burnout at bay.