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"Enough Talk: Preventing Burnout During Medical Training" - Alexa M. Mieses, MD, MPH

  • Medscape
  • New York, NY
  • (January 04, 2019)

Burnout is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, combined with a sense of low personal accomplishment that leads to decreased effectiveness at work. In the most severe cases, burnout leads to depression and suicide. It does not happen overnight. Many argue that it begins before medical training, as early as college. The medical education community is taking action against this insidious epidemic that plagues medical students and physicians alike. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has responded with a wellness overhaul. A task force was created, and the problem of burnout was broken down into three categories that include addressing the culture of medicine, general wellness activities and resources, and mental health resources. “Being the person who is there for a patient or family of a patients who is struggling to cope with illness, is at the end of life, or has just gotten bad news… there are so many incredibly stressful things we do in medicine that speak to the core of why we want to be doctors – so that we can carry part of the burden for them,” explained David Muller, MD, dean for medical education at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Jonathan Ripp, MD, chief wellness officer at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, elaborated that “because medicine is a calling, the idea that we might be flawed may be surprising.” Dr. Ripp hopes to make changes on multiple levels. While Dr. Ripp has dedicated his career to physician well-being, he recognizes the magnitude of the problem and limitation of his role.

— David Muller, MD, Dean, Medical Education, Professor, Chair, Medical Education, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

— Jonathan A. Ripp, MD, Senior Associate Dean, Well-Being and Resilience, Chief Wellness Officer, Associate Dean, Trainee Well-Being in Graduate Medical Education, Associate Professor, Medicine, General Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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