We Need to Talk About It: Physician Burnout and Sex Differences in Salary


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Physician burnout is a work related syndrome involving emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment. The prevalence of burnout has reached a shocking 50% in both staff and resident physicians! Something needs to be done. Ariel Lefkowitz, Chief Medical Resident at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, takes listeners through a systematic review and meta-analysis examining interventions to prevent and reduce physician burnout. If you, or someone you know, may be experiencing burnout see the links listed below for helpful resources.

Next, Kieran highlights a very important issue that permeates medicine, like all other industries, the gender gap. Listeners are taken through a retrospective analysis that aims to answer the following question: are there gender differences in salaries in medicine? Using a non-survey based methodology and adjusting for multiple variables including physician age, experience, faculty rank, specialty, and scientific authorship, the authors take a critical look at discrepancies in physician earning between the genders.

Finally, the Good Stuff segment! An ongoing challenge: how to combat stigma surrounding mental illness? Ariel describes technology aimed at putting people in the shoes of those suffering. Then, heard of the IBM supercomputer, Watson? Kieran describes a new application of Watson’s use: using artificial intelligence in the world of cancer precision medicine!

Have something to say on this episode? Join the conversation! Tweet @RoundsTable and @kieranlquinn. Contact Kieran by e-mail at kieran.quinn@mail.utoronto.ca.

Resources for Physician Burnout

Thank-you to the Resiliency Curriculum creators at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine for recommending the following:

Personal Counselling Resources: http://www.md.utoronto.ca/personal-counselling-resources

Resources on Self-Compassion: http://self-compassion.org

OMA Physician Health Services: http://php.oma.org

Staying Human During Residency: Ten Tips for Resilience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrnJiecZeLU&feature=youtu.be

Resources for Mindfulness:

  1. UCLA guided meditations: http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22,
  2. UCSD guided meditations and yoga meditations: https://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/mindfulness/programs/mbsr/Pages/audio.aspx
  3. Well-Being Interventions: http://centerhealthyminds.org/science/tools-for-scientists

The Papers

1. Physician Burnout: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)31279-X/fulltext?rss=yes

2. Sex Salary: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2532788

Good Stuff

1. Stigma & Mental Health:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qEPz6EepNA

2. “Elementary, Dear Watson!”: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/10/17/technology/ibm-is-counting-on-its-bet-on-watson-and-paying-big-money-for-it.html?_r=1&referer=

Music Credits (Creative Commons)

In your Robotic Heart – Nicolai Heidlas https://soundcloud.com/nicolai-heidlas/in-your-robotic-heart

Drive – Nicolai Heidlas https://soundcloud.com/nicolai-heidlas/drive-fresh-upbeat-pop-background-music

Vintage Dream – Nicolai Heidlas https://soundcloud.com/nicolai-heidlas/vintage-dream-loungejazzy-background-music

All tracks have been modified for the purposes of this podcast.

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