The Burnout Crisis

Doctor burn-out can result in emotional exhaustion, an inability to show or feel empathy, and a sense that you aren’t accomplishing enough—or anything at all. In this podcast, Gail Gazelle, MD, and Mount Sinai’s Lauren Peccoralo, MD, discuss how to deal with burnout and how coaching can help.



[00:00:00] Stephen Calabria: From the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, this is Road to Resilience, a podcast about facing adversity. I'm your host Stephen Calabria, Mount Sinai's Director of Podcasting.

[00:00:12] On today's special edition of Road to Resilience we welcome Gail Gazelle, MD. Dr. Gazelle got her start in palliative care and geriatrics, ultimately moving into physican coaching. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Scientist at the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

[00:00:31] Dr. Gazelle is an expert in treating and diagnosing physician burnout, which she covers in her new book, Mindful MD: 6 Ways Mindfulneess Restores Your Autonomy and Cures Healthcare Burnout.

[00:00:43] Dr. Gazelle is interviewed on this episode by Dr. Lauren Peccoralo, MD, a Professor of Medicinein the Division of Internal Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Peccoralo is also the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Well-Being and Development at the Icahn School, where she's helped combat burnout among Mount Sinai's own ranks.

[00:01:06] Together, the two discuss why burnout occurs among both those who work in medicine and those who don't, and burnout may be overcome. We're honored to have Drs. Gail Gazelle and Lauren Peccoralo on the show.

[00:01:20] Lauren Peccoralo: Hi, everyone. I'm Dr. Lauren Peccarello. I'm the guest host today of Road to Resilience at Mount Sinai. I'm very excited to welcome Dr. Gail Gazelle, a hospice physician, a master certified coach, and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, who is globally recognized for her work in mindfulness and resilience.

[00:01:45] Welcome, Dr. Gazelle. It's so great to have you.

[00:01:48] Gail Gazelle: Oh, such a pleasure. Thank you so much.

[00:01:51] Lauren Peccoralo: So I was wondering, to get us started, could you briefly tell us about your background in medicine and in coaching?

[00:01:58] Gail Gazelle: Yes. So, I trained in internal medicine back in the 1980s, when end of life care was not really a specialty, palliative care was not a specialty, but my main interest was working with individuals who were terminally ill.

[00:02:15] That's actually why I went to medical school. So, started working as an internist. I wasn't sure how to get involved in end of life care, so I signed up for a medical ethics fellowship here at Harvard Medical School.

[00:02:28] And then I was working as an internist at a large HMO here in Boston, and lo and behold, they decided to start a palliative care program. And they looked around, and they thought, well, who knows something about end of life care?

[00:02:39] Well, she did a fellowship in medical ethics. Let's pick her, even though I'd, you know, barely written a script for opioid in my head. So that really took me to my main love, which was end of life care. So that's what I practiced in for the duration of my clinical career.

[00:02:57] Along the way, I experienced burnout, as many physicians do. I felt like I was never good enough. I felt like I wasn't doing enough for my academic and my clinical career. When I was home with my son, I felt guilty that I wasn't doing more for patients.

Download Transcript