There’s nothing black and white in burnout, and there is no permanent solution, Dike Drummond says, a family physician and a burnout prevention American expert. Burnout is a psychological stress that affect many physicians oppressed by unbearable working hours and by the responsibility of such a delicate work. Hundreds of physicians affected by burnout are treated by Dr Drummond who explains that managing this syndrome involves finding a balance between the energy you burn at work and your ability to recharge.
Every physician will come up with their own strategy. Burned-out physicians are often told to relax and take some time off, but vacation is only an opportunity to start obsessing on their own perceived failures. Another common technique to combat burnout is mindfulness, in which you treat experiences in a nonjudgmental way by being aware of your own feelings and those of other people. Many courses on mindfulness are available online or in person, such as those sponsored by the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and they involve the development of your own perceptions, the learning of simple breathing techniques during stressful situations and they focus on the situation at hand.
In a 2009 study, primary care physicians participated in a mindfulness course that included mindfulness meditation, self-awareness exercises, narratives about meaningful clinical experiences and appreciative interviews, a technique used to draw out what’s important to people and how they can put this knowledge to work in a positive way. These physicians showed reductions in burnout and total mood disturbance. «Mindfulness training – Dr Drummond explains – will help you release those emotions and get your work done quicker and without burning as much energy».
Unfortunately the burnout is not only “Made in US” but it affects also Italian physicians. This is the reason why more and more online courses are spreading in order to help physicians to collect CME credits and manage their stress.