Feeling the ‘Burn’ in Burnout

February 28, 2017
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by Ken Jones

There is absolutely no question that physician burnout is on the rise in medicine today. Numerous studies have supported the reality that physician burnout rates range from 30 to as high as 65%, depending on specialty. Burnout, of course, isn’t a ‘disease’ a physician would prescribe medicine for, or even necessarily diagnose in one of his or her patients. But it is a ‘dis-ease,’ to be sure. Burnout is a long-term stress reaction, which includes emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a lack of sense of personal accomplishment. For a certainty, Christian doctors are not immune to the effects of burnout, and one of the primary elements of CMDA’s coaching ministry is helping Christian doctors manage and address the challenges of burnout in medicine today.

In a symposium in April of 2013, Mark Linzer, MD delivered a presentation, “Off the treadmill: Preventing Burnout in General Internal Medicine” at the annual meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine, in Denver, Colorado. He noted the following:

  1. Burnout poses a problem for both healthcare organizations and patients. While burned-out physicians attempt to maintain quality care at their own expense, work conditions that result in burnout are associated with poorer care quality.
  2. Burned out doctors are more likely to leave their practices, sacrificing continuity of care within healthcare organizations, with replacement costs of at least $250,00 per physician, in primary care alone.
  3. Women physicians in national surveys have a 60% higher burnout rate than those seen in men.

These and other realities about the impact of burnout on physicians and medicine today underscore why CMDA’s Life and Leadership Coaching ministry exists. Our certified Christian coaches specialize in helping Christian doctors unravel the challenges of leadership, life, and yes, burnout. One of our recent doctor-clients wrote:

“Thank you so much for your friendship and Godly coaching, encouragement, and prayer. Proverbs 27:9 says, “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart; so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.” (KJV) Thanks for helping me think/dream/imagine!” (Used by permission)

If you’re experiencing burnout, or just wondering whether coaching might be a good fit for you and where you are in your life in medicine, we would be happy to chat with you personally and confidentially about how coaching can help. And of course, there’s no obligation.

Note: This coaching course requires completion of CMDA 501 Foundations – add the words “or equivalent”.

Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

About Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations® (CMDA) is made up of the Christian Medical Association (CMA) and the Christian Dental Association (CDA). CMDA provides resources, networking opportunities, education and a public voice for Christian healthcare professionals and students.

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