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Academy Program Designed to Meet Challenges of Burnout

The Academy Cares for YOU: Confronting Burnout Together
3:30 – 4:30 pm
Tuesday
Room E450A

To tackle the growing challenges of burnout, the Academy has launched a Physician Wellness Task Force that is developing a program to help members prevent burnout or deal with it when needed. A Miniseminar following the John Conley, MD Lecture on Medical Ethics will explain the program.

“Many factors contribute to the concept of burnout,” said Duane Taylor, MD, chair of the task force. “The task force will look at it in a general way and in a specific way as it pertains to our specialty. This is a hot topic not just in our specialty but across the house of medicine.”

Tuesday’s Miniseminar will highlight four different perspectives related to burnout—residents and fellows-in-training, young physicians, how changes in the specialty affect wellness, and how medicine in general is affected by challenges in healthcare.

“We want our members to know that we are engaged with all of the stakeholders in the Academy,” Dr. Taylor said. “We want them to know we are looking at this not only to determine where the problems are, but what our solutions are and the things we can do strategically to keep all of our physicians well.”

Residents and fellows-in-training across all specialties face the stress of dealing with a medical education system they must adapt to for future success.

“There are work-life balance situations that are different from a physician. They are confined within an institution that has specific issues they may not have a lot of control over,” Dr. Taylor said.

Young physicians new to practice face other issues, whether they are in academics with research pressures, a large, competitive organization with strict processes, or a small practice struggling to keep up with new healthcare measures.

“Each group may have a different experience, but it is one everybody has to work through,” Dr. Taylor said. “The challenges may be about family, keeping yourself healthy, or financial constraints for loans.”

A second task force, the Academy’s Physician Future Task Force, chaired by Gavin Setzen, MD, has issues that overlap with the Wellness Task Force, but its unique task of forging the path of the specialty will affect the pressures on otolaryngologists.

“The changes in healthcare will affect the number of physicians in the specialty, its demographics, locations, changes in payment/reimbursement patterns, and the increased use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants,” Dr. Taylor said. “The requirements with the changes in healthcare in general impact how physicians can keep up with this.”

The final presentation will look at how otolaryngology faces the same problems as other specialties and how they can learn from one another in responding to the pressures of burnout.

“We want to not just look at the problems, but look at efforts that have been successful in dealing with them.” Dr. Taylor said. “We need to find out what positive things we can share that have led to physicians staying healthy and feeling healthy.”

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