No Shame in Burnout

June 1, 2022
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Illustration of physician wearing cap and mask

Dr. Nigel Girgrah shares story with AMA

Answer the following questions:

  • Are you deeply driven?
  • Are you highly conscientious?
  • Do you doubt yourself at times?
  • Do you get anxious?
  • Do you suffer from self-imposed guilt?
  • Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed, like work is getting “out of control”?

We all have our own burnout stories. Physician specialist Nigel Girgrah, MD, has his own, too. Struck by the death of a friend who committed suicide in 2009, he began his own journey to research and understand mental health challenges in the workplace, the seeds of his career as Chief Wellness Officer at Ochsner Health.

Recently, Girgrah sat down with the AMA to discuss physician burnout and the importance of destigmatizing mental health for physicians in the workplace. He notes that being open, honest and vulnerable in how we communicate with colleagues in the workplace, especially when we are burned out, is paramount. He adds that communicating authentically is character-building, and builds healthier cultures at the same time.

Today, start small with addressing your own burnout. Consider taking a walk, going for a bike ride, or on your car ride home, play Girgrah’s podcast “Creating a Culture That Supports Well-Being” with the American Medical Association.

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