PracticeLink Magazine

Winter 2019

The career development quarterly for physicians of all specialties, PracticeLink Magazine provides readers with feature articles, compensation stats, helpful job search tips—as well as recruitment ads from organizations across the U.S.

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66 W INTER 2019 features It's free for AAFP members. STP18050802 years, has seen and addressed depression and burnout in others. The early signs, he says, are "less involvement, less caring, and negative comments in a person who used to be very positive." Addressing burnout, however, comes with its own land mines. Sometimes when a physician who is depressed or approaching burnout speaks to their supervisor about the issue, the physician is forced to stop working or see a psychiatrist in order to be cleared to go back to work. "Too often, this adds to the stress by causing a new burden on the physician," Farcy says. And when a colleague has moved beyond bu rnout to something deeper, expressing concern may not be enough. "By the time a doctor is in the early stages of depression, it is harder to get them involved in resilience," says Farcy. "Telling them you need to go work out, do yoga, drink less, spend more time with your loved ones, etc., too often falls on deaf ears. The physician may hear it but won't change or do these things because of their underlying depressive state." T he best answer may be in fostering a community that's open to discussing burnout. Farcy says physicians need to feel free to talk openly, in a safe place, without being labeled as weak. "We have a wellness program where I work, and I have an open-door policy for anyone to be able to talk and share, without risk or fear of repercussion," Farcy says. "Once the person begins speaking, most important is listening and creating a plan," he says. Clif Knight, M.D., is senior vice president for education for the A merican Academy of Family Physicians (A A FP). He's worked in private practice, as a hospital administrator, and as director of a family medicine residency program. As a residency program director, he witnessed resident burnout and tried to help his physicians recognize their symptoms and consider counseling and coaching. Knight stresses that burnout is not due to a lack of physician resiliency, as was once commonly thought. "It's important to recognize that the majority of burnout is related to

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