First, please know there is a special helpline for doctors: (888) 409-0141; physiciansupportline.com. Without a doubt, I am very concerned about 3 underreported healthcare statistics that I came across.
Burnout before the pandemic was serious, but at this point the coping mechanisms that once held medical communities up are feeling the weight of this time. Anecdotally, I feel there is an added dimension for empathic and intuitive doctors.
Burnout can be debilitating and chronic and is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. It is an epigenetic phenomenon as well as our bodies dynamically shift. It is the top reason people leave medicine and is challenging to address at the institutional level; however, a few places are exploring novel strategies.
Dr. Marc Moss and Katherine Reed LPC who collaborate in the Colorado Resiliency Arts Lab at the University of Colorado Medical Campus, were interviewed on The Artian.
Dr. Moss states that: “people don’t understand the prevalence of these problems. And that’s why I use the word epidemic. If you look at symptoms of PTSD or anxiety or depression or burnout syndrome, you put an *or* statement between those; it is close to 80% of our current ICU nurses.” Not to mention people who are uncomfortable to put it on a form.
50% of ICU docs reported burnout in a national Medscape poll of roughly 12,000 doctors.
I can say without reservation that this time frame is going to impact people far past the time of the virus.
He describes resilience as bouncing back when faced with adversity or a tragedy and generally wanted to find ways to cultivate it. Dr. Moss and Katherine are using art therapy in their lab, CORAL. Healthcare workers are invited to participate in 12 weekly workshops in four different areas. These areas were art, music, dance/movement, or writing. Their results let us know that people are recovering from burnout. Surely, this is something that could be added with modest expense for many other systems. Building community is essential to our recovery.
Creativity is a powerful tool for healing. I’ll repeat it.
Creativity is a powerful tool for healing.
I don’t have a panacea; however, I am offering a webinar on Sunday at 9 am. I’ll share how small steps in the morning can help build resilience. In my situation, Ayurveda was the pathway that brought sustained healing for me.
On a bright side, we can walk our way out of this issue using a different path from how we came in. And by all means creativity can be part of this.
Please share this important information.
Learn more about my journey with burnout here.
Li Y, Scherer N, Felix L, Kuper H. Prevalence of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2021 Mar 10;16(3):e0246454. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246454.
Arantzamendi M, Sapeta P, Collette N, Sesma AB, Pérez-Solero MTT, Echarri FI, Centeno C. Insight and Inner Peace in Palliative Care Professionals after an Art Therapy Workshop Focused on Personal Self-Care: A Preliminary Experience. Palliat Med Rep. 2021 Feb 8;2(1):34-39. doi: 10.1089/pmr.2020.0079. PMID: 34223501; PMCID: PMC8241372.