LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 204
Personal experience and individual measures to manage physician burn-out
Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Nephrology Unit, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India
|Date of Submission||28-Sep-2021|
|Date of Decision||28-Jun-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||28-Jun-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||26-Sep-2022|
Dr. Karalanglin Tiewsoh
Room No 4110, 4A, Advanced Pediatrics Centre, PGIMER, Chandigarh - 160 012
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Tiewsoh K. Personal experience and individual measures to manage physician burn-out. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2022;26:204
As a Pediatric Nephrologist working in a tertiary care center, urgent calls from the ward when patients deteriorate is common. Usually, I would rush to examine the patient, review the treatment, and counsel the parents. Yet, on one particular day, I felt exhausted and though I went to the patient's bedside, I was neither interested nor keen to do my job. I knew that it was not right. I was irritable, angry, had lots of negative thoughts, and to sum it all—I was not me. I considered quitting, for I thought I could not do justice to our noble profession.
I was suffering from “burn-out,” a work-related syndrome involving three dimensions—emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and to some extent, a sense of reduced personal accomplishment. A recent study by Pawłowicz-Szlarska E et al. showed that there is a significant amount of burnout amongst Pediatric Nephrologists. There are various reasons cited—the chronic character of kidney disease, increased comorbidities in patients, and thus increased workload. There are many suggestions in literature on how to reduce it, but most of the studied interventions were for the administration.
However, all of us can fight burnout at a personal level. The foremost thing is to recognize and admit that one is burnout. The best medicine for this is to take time to care for oneself, in terms of physical fitness and a balanced healthy diet. Meditation also gives a lot of positive energy. As Kobasa SC clearly stated that viewing every change or stress as a challenge or an opportunity makes us more resilient. Further, quality time with family is important. The other thing that we should remember is that we can only try our best to save lives.
There is nothing more priceless at work than a good mentor, if you can find one. A mentor should be trustworthy and have similar traits. You, on the other hand, should be honest and faithful for a fruitful relationship. It is comforting to have friends in the workplace, but you have to properly sieve them. Learning to work in harmony with the whole team is an art that all of us have to conquer to avoid unnecessary stress.
All these small steps helped me in surviving the burnout phase. Although I must admit that I am not immune to being burnout once again, andI believe that it will not occur soon. These are individual thoughts, but it is important that we have proper studies to find out evidence-based personal solutions for physician burnout.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Shanafelt TD, Noseworthy JH. Executive leadership and physician well-being: Nine organizational strategies to promote engagement and reduce burnout. Mayo Clin Proc 2017;92:129-46.
Pawłowicz-Szlarska E, Skrzypczyk P, Stańczyk M, Pańczyk-Tomaszewska M, Nowicki M. Burnout syndrome among pediatric nephrologists-report on its prevalence, severity, and predisposing factors. Medicina (Kaunas) 2022;58:446.
West CP, Dyrbye LN, Erwin PJ, Shanafelt TD. Interventions to prevent and reduce physician burnout: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet 2016;388:2272-81.
Kobasa SC. Stressful life events, personality, and health: An inquiry into hardiness. J Pers Soc Psychol 1979;37:1-11.