Thursday Review: “Physician Burnout and Patient-Physician Communication During Primary Care Encounters”

This November, the Thursday Reviews will be dedicated to some of the literature available on Resilience and Burnout. We’ll be examining how storytelling and narrative are essential to healthcare providers’ well-being.

Nov. 2 | Nov. 9 | Nov. 16 | Wed., Nov. 22 | Nov. 30

The Quiet Burnout Bombshell

One of the major ideas behind medical storytelling is that better physician-patient communication yields better results.1 Writing in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Dr. Neda Ratanawongsa, Dr. Debra Roter, Dr. Mary Catherine Beach, Shivonne L. Laird, Susan M. Larson, Kathryn A. Carson, and Dr. Lisa A. Cooper make a completely rational assumption:

[W]e hypothesized that professional burnout would diminish physicians’ inclination or ability to engage in rapport-building with their patients during routine medical visits. As secondary outcomes, we hypothesized that higher levels of burnout would be associated with less positive affect by physicians and patients, less patient-centeredness, shorter visit lengths, greater verbal dominance by physicians, and more negative patient ratings of satisfaction, trust, and confidence in their physicians.

It’s a kind of quiet bombshell, then, that after a survey of physician and patient interactions, no differences were evident in the rapport-building behaviors of physicians relative to their burnout scores.
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Thursday Review: “Disenfranchised Grief and Physician Burnout”

This November, the Thursday Reviews will be dedicated to some of the literature available on Resilience and Burnout. We’ll be examining how storytelling and narrative are essential to healthcare providers’ well-being.

Nov. 2 | Nov. 9 | Nov. 16 | Wed., Nov. 22 | Nov. 30

Grief for Patients and for Physicians

It’s easy enough to agree that grief is a part of a physician’s work. It goes without saying that a profession dealing with life and death has to come to terms with the loss of a patient. When I first picked up Dr. Deborah Lathrop’s article, I expected her discussion to revolve around how that kind of grief — the loss of a patient — can lead to physician burnout. Lathrop, however, widens the scope of the idea of grief to include not just the loss of life, but a loss of how a physician understands their role and the practice of medicine.
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Thursday Review: “Physician Burnout: Coaching a Way Out”

This November, the Thursday Reviews will be dedicated to some of the literature available on Resilience and Burnout. We’ll be examining how storytelling and narrative are essential to healthcare providers’ well-being.

Nov. 2 | Nov. 9 | Nov. 16 | Wed., Nov. 22 | Nov. 30

“What’s my motivation?”

It’s a simple questions at the heart of examining our own behavior. So much so, that it’s cliché to imagine a fussy actor hassling their director for an answer.

Building on Maslach’s work1, 2 (mentioned previously) Gail Gazelle, Jane M. Liebschutz, and Helen Riess discuss coaching. Professional coaching is widely used in other sectors, and is finding its way into the medical profession.
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Thursday Review: “The Association Between a Sense of Calling and Physician Well-Being”

This November, the Thursday Reviews will be dedicated to some of the literature available on Resilience and Burnout. We’ll be examining how storytelling and narrative are essential to healthcare providers’ well-being.

Nov. 2 | Nov. 9 | Nov. 16 | Wed., Nov. 22 | Nov. 30

Healthcare As More Than a 9-To-5

Looking at work satisfaction studies among primary care physicians and psychiatrists, John D. Yoon, Brendan M. Daley, and Farr A. Curlin noticed that they primarily addressed the issue as if providing health care were any other job.
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Thursday Review: “Correlates of physician burnout across regions and specialties: a meta-analysis”

This November, the Thursday Reviews will be dedicated to some of the literature available on Resilience and Burnout. We’ll be examining how storytelling and narrative are essential to healthcare providers’ well-being.

Nov. 2 | Nov. 9 | Nov. 16 | Wed., Nov. 22 | Nov. 30

Facets of Burnout

Quantitative research about burnout is usually traced back to Christina Maslach and Susan E. Jackson’s work in the late 1970s and early 80s. They began their work, pointing to their and others’ research that burnout can lead to a deterioration in the quality of care or service that is provided by the staff. It appears to be a factor in job turnover, absenteeism, and low morale. Furthermore, burnout seems to be correlated with various self-reported indices of personal distress, including physical exhaustion, insomnia, increased use of alcohol and drugs, and marital and family problems.1
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