mama ahimsa’s quick recipe for physician burnout — a gourmet parody!
1 quart— Relentless occupational stress
2 cups — Cut throat competitive drive
3 cups — Shift work disorder
3 tablespoons — Public humiliation and lack of appreciation
1 pinch — Simmering anger and chronic resentment
Mix together in a pressure cooker and turn up the heat during four years of medical school training.
Next bring all these ingredients to boil during four years of residency adding an additional pound of circadian rhythm sleep disturbances due to on call schedules, travel to medical conferences and childcare demands.
Next drain off all remaining optimism, gratitude and enthusiasm over 30 years of a professional career, adding no time for family, friends, exercise, meditation and a restful nights sleep.
Now saturate all ingredients and simmer them in a slow cooker fueled by administrative paper work insurance denials for services rendered in good faith, continuing medical education requirements and license renewals.
Turn up the heat and add cost board recertification exams requiring proficiency in clinical areas irrelevant to practice.
Bring all ingredients to a full boil adding alcohol, prescription sedative hypnotic and opiate dependence due to chronic anxiety, insomnia, neck and back pain due to occupational stress and strain of sitting behind a desk for 10 hours a day.
Finally, add grief and loss of colleagues, friends and mentors due to career change, premature death from heart attack and suicide to the final stew.
Now embellish this dish with the crumbs of remembrance from a time in your altruistic career when you nobly aspired to serve a table of nutriment steeped in enjoyment and the warmth of your soul to sustain life, provide energy and heal the hunger of all mankind!
“To Care is Human” and Golden State MD Health & Wellness has joined the movement to confront physician burnout by creating safe, therapeutic, non judgmental environments in collaboration with the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Physician Well Being & Resilience.