Physician Wellness Programs are Lipstick on a Pig

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From KevinMD: Many U.S. physicians are suffering from burnout and increased suicide risk. Physician wellness programs hold individual physicians responsible for becoming “well” rather than addressing the toxic health care system and work environment physicians are subjected to.

“Physicians in the U.S. are not well. Our chances of suicide are significantly higher than the average person’s. More than half of thousands of U.S. physicians surveyed in a Mayo Clinic Proceedings study reported professional burnout. Burnout is a syndrome characterized by a loss of enthusiasm for work (emotional exhaustion), feelings of cynicism (depersonalization) and a low sense of personal accomplishment. So, it might seem natural to try to help physicians out in some way. But the focus on training physicians to be more ‘well’ in an increasingly difficult and toxic health care system is akin to telling a domestic violence victim to take better care of him- or herself to better tolerate the abuse. That would never happen!”

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3 COMMENTS

  1. “Burnout is a syndrome characterized by a loss of enthusiasm for work (emotional exhaustion), feelings of cynicism (depersonalization) and a low sense of personal accomplishment.” Sounds a lot like “depression,” maybe they’d like to take a little of their own medicine?

    It is the systems that are the problem. We do need to get rid of the medical/pharmaceutical industrial complex, as well as the military industrial complex, etc.

    “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

  2. The irony is painful – they are complaining about being told that they need to change themselves and their attitudes, rather than addressing the environment. Isn’t that what the medical profession has been doing to its patients? Isn’t that exactly what we’re complaining about? Don’t they get it?