Three docs share stories on surviving burnout

It was a dead-end job. Everything was the same, every day. Marquette, Mich.-based family physician Jennifer Dehlin, MD, saw her life stretched out before her and wasn’t excited about her role as a physician. She was only in her 30s.

Dehlin didn’t realize it at the time, but she was burned out. She had worked at the same hospital and small clinic for seven years. And she was involved in various committees at the hospital-based practice, including one focused on process improvement. Still, while she continued to suggest improvements, Dehlin discovered that she was powerless to change anything.

For example, no matter how many times she told the scheduler that she’d need more time with a particular 90-year-old patient, nothing changed. There was never enough time scheduled, which meant the patient’s appointments always ran over and that meant she was playing catch up all day. Looking back today, Dehlin describes herself as “constantly frustrated” back then.

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By:  Aine Cryts / Physician Practice / 4-23-18