Unless you are living under a rock, many healthcare and public media platforms are talking about the insidious problems with burnout in the health professions world. One thought leader out there is especially vocal about wellness, resiliency, and mindfulness — Dr. Zubin Damania (alter ego: ZDoggMD). For instance, do you know the difference between empathy and compassion, and why that is important to differentiate this as a clinician? We were honored to have him join the Wellness Think Tank to field questions that we peppered at him, specifically around resident wellness.
“It’s rarely the patients that hurt me. It’s my colleagues in the hospital.”
“[Interprofessional conflict] is so underappreciated as a source of stress and misery in our job. And so often in the hospital, horrible behavior is swept underneath the rug because a) there is no pathway to address this stuff and b) it’s almost seen as de rigor for certain services to act this way. “Oh it’s the surgical service, what do you expect, that’s just the way they are.” That is what ruins me … I think that is the biggest threat to wellness in my world.”
–Scott Weingart, MD
The issues of wellness, burnout, and resiliency have snowballed across nearly all health professions. Emergency Medicine (EM) specifically was singled out as one of the specialties with highest risk for burnout at >60%.1 There has been much discussion around the general “UN-wellness” of medicine, and we now feel that there is a dire need for action. Instead of tackling the entire spectrum of wellness throughout medicine, we wanted to focus on EM residents. As a response to this need, we are proud to announce the launch of the ALiEM Wellness Think Tank, which is a private virtual community comprised of EM residents across North America. What better stakeholder group to address the world of EM residency wellness than EM residents themselves?