Webinar held January 13, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. (EST)
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Imagine, if you can, a forty-something academic anesthesiologist. He is very unhappy about coming to work every day and feels that his job is like working in a salt mine. Each morning he has a hard time waking up, but Mondays are particularly bad. Although he used to have lots of outside interests like music, exercise, reading, and travel, nowadays all his activities seem to center around work. Every night, he brings home a large briefcase with work that he honestly intends to get done. Every morning, he takes the case back to work with the papers untouched. He is really burned out.
Finally, he can take it no longer. He decides that the solution to his problems is to go to a private practice job where the money and working conditions are better, and life will be great. After a little while, he dreads getting up in the morning, he carries work home in that same briefcase, and carries it back undone. He is still burned out.
Fast-forward a few years. This same anesthesiologist is happier, feels better, and actually doesn’t mind getting up in the morning. He is even working back at his academic job and looks forward to going to it every day. Instead of dreaming of the day he retires, he wonders how long he can postpone retirement.
On January 13, we hosted a Webinar dealing with the subject of job burnout where we discussed some of the risk factors for the development of burnout and some of the signs we should be looking for. This topic is timely and important and we welcome your comments, whether or not you were able to participate in the live event.
Steve Alan Hyman, M.D., M.M.
Gildasio De Oliveira, M.D.
About the Authors
Dr. Steve Hyman is Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Medical Director of the Medical Center East Operating Rooms at Vanderbilt Medical Center. A graduate of Indiana University (1975), he has advanced degrees from IU (MD, 1979) and Belmont University (MM in piano performance, 2004). His ongoing research includes studies of burnout and job satisfaction in healthcare workers. He is also the principal investigator at Vanderbilt for the multicenter POISE-2 study. In addition, he is an active musician involved in numerous musical activities, including international piano competitions.
Dr. Gildasio De Oliveira is an associate attending Anesthesiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and a clinical Instructor for Anesthesiology at Northwestern University. He is also a team educator coordinator for the Department of Surgery at Northwestern University. He is interested in how job burnout can affect the practice of anesthesiology and has evaluated chairmen of academic departments as well as program directors and residents. He is also pursuing research on how burnout can affect the safe practice of anesthesiology.