April 2021 – Dr. Joseph Maroon was recently interviewed on Physicians On Purpose [POP] Podcast by Dike Drummond, MD on Wellness and Burnout. Dr. Maroon has written and spoke extensively on the topic of burnout and wellness. In his recent book – Square One: A Simple Guide to a Balanced Life, he addresses his own personal struggles with burnout and relates numerous “simple” ways to regain wellness. Here is a summary of the recent podcast and his book.
Listen to Podcast HERE
Overworked, overwhelmed, overcommitted, overanxious, and overextended. More than half of all doctors report symptoms of burnout. However, burnout goes beyond the scope of just medical professionals. In a recent Gallup poll, 40 percent of American workers were so stressed that they felt no borders between work and life outside of their job. Essentially, we live to work!
Career burnout is often associated with symptoms of depression, anxiety, sleep problems, substance abuse, and even suicidal ideation. Long hours and heavy workloads lead to feeling initially overwhelmed, then apathetic, and finally, just plain numb. Furthermore, physician burnout has consequences that directly impact patients and workplace associates. Prolonged work hours, inhumane productivity expectations, and a sea of governmental regulations distress many devoted physicians and health care workers. These and other stressors can lead to emotional and physical exhaustion, depersonalization from patients, medical errors, intolerance, cynicism and a lower sense of personal accomplishment – all of which are classic signs of burnout.
Dr. Maroon discuss both individual and system wide burnout prevention and intervention strategies. The aim is not just to deter and reduce burnout, but also to increase the general health and wellness of healthcare providers under siege. The tools discussed in the lecture to help prevent burnout will include the new sciences of epigenetics, neuroplasticity and connectomics.