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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hospice-Palliative Care Doctors and Burnout (Research, Video 5:48)


Every profession has the potential for burnout, even when workers love what they do. With the growth in hospice-palliative medicine (HPM), more research is shining a light on how doctors in this field prevent burnout and promote self-care among themselves.

This research by the Mayo Clinic was reported in the Journal of Palliative Medicine. Participants included 40 HPM doctors practicing in America. These doctors were surveyed online about burnout prevention strategies and ways to find fulfillment in their professions. These were strategies used by 30 of 40 HPM physicians (19 males, 11 females) for burnout prevention:

1)    Physical well-being (60%)
2)    Professional relationships (57%)
3)    Transcendental perspectives (43%)
4)    Oral communication with others (43%)
5)    Hobbies (40%)
6)    Clinical variety (37%)
7)    Personal relationships (37%)
8)    Personal boundaries (37%)
9)    Time away from work (27%)
10)  Passion for one's work (20%)
11)  Realistic expectations (13%)
12)  Humor and laughter (13%)
13)  Memories of patients (10%)

HPM doctors use a variety of strategies to avoid burnout and maintain resilience. This research highlights the importance of dealing with burnout as it relates to doctors’ self-awareness and self-care. More research is needed to help physicians recognize burnout and individualized strategies for supporting themselves and their colleagues. This video titled “Palliative Curriculum - Part 15 - Cancer Doctors and Burnout” presents a scenario about burnout concerns.



Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many online and offline booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble online stores.