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 for you.
The most difficult part of overcoming “burnout” is making the decision to prioritize yourself, your health and your well-being above all else. Once this decision is made, trust that all pieces will fall into place together. Be open to receiving the multitude of opportunities that will come in your direction once you have made the commitment to yourself.
And slowly, you pick yourself up and dust yourself off. And put one foot in front of the other. And keep on marching forward into the beautiful world on which you are meant to leave your mark.
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