PracticeLink Magazine

Summer 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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24 S UMMER 2019 ▼ T HE In T E rv IE W ISSUE D E P A R T M E N T S Career Move MA r CIA tr A ve LS te AD t eaching mindfulness in medicine Through retreats, a podcast, workshops and more, one physician educates others about the importance of wellness. Name: Kathy Stepien, M.D., FA AP, MA, PT Title: Director and C eo , Institute for Physician Wellness ( Education Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin, Lacrosse Med school: University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle Residency: Marshfield Clinic at St. Joseph's Hospital, Marshfield, Wisconsin Stepien is a board-certified pediatrician who has a master's degree in philosophy with a special interest in ethics. Prior to becoming a physician, she worked as a physical therapist for 13 years. She founded the Institute for Physician Wellness in 2016, a mission-driven organization with a goal to support self-care and the professional development of physicians and physicians in training. The organization provides continuing medical education workshops, conferences, retreats and consultations in North America and beyond. What do you like about being a physician educator? A big part of what I do as an educator is to bring people together and help them realize the majority of physicians are struggling with physician wellness. I enjoy helping physicians learn that they are not alone in needing to create a map for themselves that will help support wellness throughout their careers. What surprised you about the work? I did not anticipate how extraordinarily lonely and isolated many physicians feel. It is breathtaking at times to know so many physicians are struggling, and struggling to such a depth, to be able to simply do what they trained and love to do. We know that greater than 50 percent of physicians in America report symptoms of burnout: depersonalization, emotional exhaustion and decreased feelings of accomplishment. We know that numbers that high cannot be contributed to a personal trait of physicians; burnout is caused by a broken medical system. The model by which we delivery care to our patients needs revamping.

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