Physician Burnout: Resilience Training is Only Part of the Solution
Special Interest Group
This paper speaks to the “welcoming the whole person at work” theme of the SIG’s purpose, and the goal of “looking after ourselves and tending to the wellbeing of our colleagues.” It applies ideas from the patient suffering literature to physician (and other healthcare worker) burnout, arguing that burnout and other forms of psychosocial harm in the workplace can be the result of two different kinds of causes: unavoidable occupational suffering, which is inherent to the role (e.g., doctors will have patients who die, no matter how well they provide care), and avoidable occupational suffering, which is the result of systems failures. It then makes the argument that these two different kinds of causes call for different kinds of solutions. The paper also discusses some of the broader cultural and structural problems we have to overcome to help solve these problems.