Sep 26, 2019
Dermatology residents may be among the least burned-out
residents across specialties, but
burnout syndrome still affects almost one in three dermatology
residents. In this special resident takeover of the podcast,
three dermatology residents — Dr. Julie Croley (@dr.skinandsmiles),
Dr. Elisabeth Tracey, and Dr. Daniel Mazori — discuss sources of
stress for dermatology residents as well as tools to identify and
combat burnout to ultimately be a better provider. “The low-stress
perception of dermatologists may counterintuitively or
paradoxically make recognizing burnout within others and ourselves
challenging, so I think it’s important for residents and faculty to
be aware that this occurs in such a high prevalence,” reports Dr.
We also bring you the latest in dermatology news and
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Five studies reported statistically significant increases in
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Bringing ownership of health data to the individual and setting
a clearer definition of health IT standards are important drivers
Things you will learn in this episode:
- Jeffrey Benabio quipped in a
Dermatology News column, “The phrase ‘dermatologist burnout’
may seem as oxymoronic as jumbo shrimp, yet both are real.”
- Burnout is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion,
depersonalization, and a sense of reduced personal
- For dermatology residents, the preliminary internship year plus
the first year of residency can be the most stressful. “You have 2
years of being the least experienced person in your department,”
explains Dr. Tracey, “and so that adds to the stress of the sense
of lack of accomplishment during that time.”
- Board examinations are a top stressor for dermatology
- Institutions are recognizing and addressing burnout among
residents by offering wellness lectures, yoga classes, and social
events to counteract the stresses of residency. Some also hold town
hall meetings and forums that allow residents and other department
members to raise concerns and find concrete solutions to shared
problems. Formalizing feedback to residents, especially positive
feedback, also is important.
- Residents — and all health care providers — need to take care
of themselves to provide the best care to their patients. “It’s all
about balance and about creating time for those other things that
are important to you and not feeling guilty about setting aside
time to do those things. We don’t always need to be productive and
always be working,” Dr. Tracey adds.
- Setting both short- and long-term goals may be helpful in
preventing burnout. Don’t lose sight of the ultimate goal —
becoming a dermatologist — but set and focus on goals for the day
or the week.
- First-year residents can help to create a positive culture
within their departments. Instead of commiserating with colleagues
only about a hard day, “sharing cool cases or talking about
interesting things that you’ve learned” can create a better
environment for everyone, Dr. Tracey advises.
- The idea that dermatology residents can’t or don’t experience
burnout is a myth. “Just like a rare diagnosis, it’s sometimes
harder to spot than something that we see all the time,” says Dr.
Mazori. If a resident is starting to feel burned out, it is
essential to reach out to a trusted friend or colleague to address
Hosts: Elizabeth Mechcatie, Terry Rudd
Guests: Julie Ann Amthor Croley, MD (University
of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston); Elisabeth (Libby) Tracey, MD
(Cleveland Clinic Foundation); Daniel R. Mazori, MD (State
University of New York, Brooklyn).
Show notes by: Ann M. Hoppel, Melissa Sears,
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Interact with us on Twitter: @MDedgeDerm