Dr Joseph Maroon Radio Interview on Burnout Prevention

Hank Baughman ShowJuly 2018 – Dr Maroon recently was interviewed by 1480 WCNS talk show host Hank Baughman to discuss his latest book, “Square One: A Simple Guide to a Balanced Life.” In his interview Dr Maroon discusses the current crisis of burnout in the healthcare professions, but also how burnout can affect everyone.  Below is a brief outline about the topic of burnout and a link to  the complete interview.

Link to 1480 Radio interview of Dr Joseph Maroon on Burnout Interventions 

What is burnout?

Burnout is a work-related mental health impairment, characterized by:

  • emotional exhaustion (state of being depleted of one’s own emotional resources)
  • depersonalization (negative, cynical, detached approach to people under ones care)
  • reduced personal accomplishment (sense of low self-efficacy and negative feelings towards one’s self)

Consequences of burnout affect a physician’s personal, physical and psychological well-being. Typical symptoms include interpersonal relation dysfunction, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, poor sleep, fatigue, lack of motivation and even suicidal ideation.

Square One Book Cover smallRisk-factors for burnout:

  • Imbalance between job demands and job skills
  • Lack of job control
  • Low social support
  • Effort-reward imbalance
  • Prolonged job stress
  • Younger age (less than 20 years of experience)
  • No adequate work-life balance

Consequences of burnout for employer:

  • Higher absenteeism, higher sick leave, more physical health complaints (e.g. twice the prevalence of CVD)
  • Higher job turn-over
  • Increase in job errors
  • Lower quality work
  • Early retirement/ desire to retire early

Wellness Interventions to How Prevent Burnout

Life Balance with family

  • Discuss importance of having a life outside of work
  • Present examples of balance life and work
  • Create road-map to working towards achieving balance

Build resilience

  • Discuss the three components of resilience: insight, self-care and values
  • Explain consequences of low resilience
  • Discuss warning signs
  • Write out values and goals for self-care
  • Teach techniques to build resilience


  • What is mindfulness
  • How can mindfulness be used in daily practice to reduce stress
  • Teach & practice short, mindful meditation techniques (during eating)

Social support at work

  • Explain consequences of unsupportive peer network
  • Discuss techniques to foster peer/ faculty relations
  • Exercises to increase positive social interactions and support (ideally: group outing)
  • Team building exercises

Time management

  • Importance of time management
  • False conceptions about :good time management”
  • Discuss how better time management can reduce stress, increase control, help achieve goals
  • Provide techniques to increase time management skills

Stress and coping skills

  • Techniques to increase sense of control in workplace
  • Exercise as stress reduction and coping

Sleep hygiene

  • Explain how poor sleep affects all areas of life
  • Debunk common sleep myths, challenge lack of sleep as status symbol
  • Practice sleep hygiene

Achieve balance in work-life

  • Summary of program, skills
  • Gage progress and achievements in their work-life balance road-map
  • Gage progress in achieving values and self-care goals
  • Evaluate health behaviors