Physician Burnout

The Annals of Cardiology No.20 | Physician Burnout. What is The Pause? What do doctors think of death? What next, after the news of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain?


The Annals of Cardiology No.20 | Physician Burnout

You can read the introduction below or read the full version here.

How did you feel when you first heard? Cause of death: suicide. Did you pause for a minute to reflect? When I think of Kate Spade the phrase that comes to mind is pretty handbag. I’ve watched “Parts Unknown” once or twice on CNN, but my brain image of Anthony Bourdain has him relaxing with a cigarette. I could be wrong. It sounds awful, but if you’re like me, you probably spent a moment assessing what impact their deaths might have on your life. That’s just how we’re wired. Regardless, one can’t help but feel a twinge of heartache for the left-behind daughters, ages 13 and 11.

Now imagine that you have to deal with someone’s death every month, or maybe every week, or daily. What if death is part of the job?  I’m not talking about undertakers – bless them, no easy profession – but what if your job was to save lives? What if you sometimes succeeded but often did not? When you failed, would you simply move to the next item of business? That’s a reality for hospital workers, and especially the cardiac arrest teams that fight to return people to life when their heart stops. It’s not pretty and it’s never relaxing. For starters, there’s no time to think. It’s now-or-never action. As a result, there’s a fair bit of adrenaline – some coursing through staff’s veins, some injected into victims between charges, shocks, and chest compressions.

Continued in the full newsletter…

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