The Road to Recovery Once Burnout Occurs
Self-Care as a Path to Resilience
Resilient persons typically engage in positive thinking and are willing to face challenges. They seldom get frustrated when problems arise and they usually rebound from adversity. Although some people believe resilience is innate, this trait can be developed using a number of techniques. Self-care is a central component of
Series Part Two: Fostering Resilience
Although medicine is a stressful profession, many physicians are able to practice medicine without experiencing burnout. Developing resilience increases the likelihood of avoiding burnout. Resilient individuals typically have a more optimistic outlook, remain calm in a crisis, have a good sense of humor and are less daunted by challenges. An individual could be naturally resilient but persons who are not resilient by nature can develop habits that increase their resilience.
Physicians seldom receive training on time management and/or self-care at any point in their career. As a result, many physicians have difficulty creating balance in their lives or incorporating self-care into their schedules. Persons who do not care for themselves are less effective at providing optimal care for others. Approximately 50% of physicians report burnout and the suicide rate among physicians is significantly higher than observed for the general population. In addition, burnout exposes physicians to the risk of medical errors and litigation. In recent decades, the role of physician fatigue in causing medical errors has led to the implementation of duty hours for physicians in training. There is now growing attention to the need for patient safety strategies to prevent and treat fatigue/burnout among practicing physicians.