Showing posts from January, 2019

On “Burnout”

They call it “burnout.” As if I didn’t attend enough yoga. As if the fault lay within me for not being able to tolerate the abuse of a toxic and misogynistic work environment. I do believe there is an onus of responsibility on physicians to care for ourselves. We must take care of our minds, bodies and souls as these are the tools we use to care for our patients.  However, I also do believe there is an onus of responsibility on health systems to create and foster sustainable work environments. This involves sufficient staffing of both physicians and nurses, creating a positive atmosphere, humane scheduling, valuing the blood, sweat and tears of those at the frontlines, allowing staff to voice concerns and adequate representation in leadership for women and minorities. “Burnout” really is an incongruity between physician resilience and workplace ethos. In my experience, if you are holding up your end of the bargain and your employer is not, that place is not a good fit

What Lies Beneath

I had the most interesting patient today. He was intelligent. He was eloquent and well-spoken. Most of all, he was kind. When he was 20 years old, he donated his kidney to his grandmother.  What do you think of when you think of 20-year old men? Maybe immaturity. Maybe lacking focus. Maybe silly. Are these judgements? Probably, because there are plenty of 20-year old men who are determined, focused and serious.  I asked him more about what inspired him to donate his kidney. He said he couldn’t imagine committing someone to dialysis if there was another way. He has two family members who were kidney donors and live normal lives. He has one family member who received a kidney transplant and lives a normal life. His grandmother lives a normal life. To him, it was a normal gesture of kindness. He’s much older now and does not regret his decision. Why do I bring up this story? I bring this up because this person’s external appearance fit what media would have you believ