Stop Physician Burnout - How to Reach Out To A Colleague in Distress

Stop Physician Burnout – How to Reach Out To A Colleague in Distress

hello Dyke Drummond from V happy MD comm with a quick video I'm going to show you a way I recommend you consider reaching out to a colleague who you suspect might be burnt out we have to do it in a very specific fashion otherwise our programming to never show weakness will make it really hard to make the connection you'd like to with your overstressed colleague check it out you know it's almost sometimes like there's a conspiracy in a healthcare workplace especially with doctors right we have such strong programming that we get through our medical education there's the classic big four workaholic superhero Lone Ranger perfectionist but there's also the two prime directives first one patient comes first and the second one is never show weakness so I know that you know this because it you've done it yourself we all do what we learn this when we're coming up through our residency training if anybody were to come up to you at any point in time and ask you hey you look tired are you okay what are we going to say back to them just like that well that same programming gets in the way when you're trying to read reach out to a colleague that you think might be burnt out now I personally think we all have an ethical responsibility to reach out to our colleagues that we think are overstressed and struggling simply because of the suicide rate amongst doctors because doctors because of this never show weakness programming sometimes will take their burnout to the grave and it doesn't have to be that way so here's how I recommend you reach out to a partner if you think that they're burnt out now the first thing you have to do is make sure that they understand that you're coming to them heart to heart as a real individual human being not because you're a doctor or a colleague or heaven forbid you're in some leadership position where your medical director so what I recommend that you do is get a time when it's okay to talk to them hey John it's Dyk can we talk for us and John's gonna say yeah sure now what I want to do is make sure that he knows I want to make a human connection with him and so what I'm gonna do is put my hand on my head go ahead and put your hand on your head with me put my hand on my head I'm gonna say I'm taking my doctor hat off now so do that I'm taking my doctor hat off now so that sends you a signal that you're stepping out of that role it also sends your colleague a system that that a signal that this is not them talking to another doctor especially if you are an official leadership role hey John I'm taking my medical director hat off now do that before you do anything else otherwise the chance of a connection is dramatically reduced so John I'm taking my doctor hat off now it's just you and me heart-to-heart I've been watching yet and I'm concerned how are you doing to which he's going to immediately answer how yeah fine that's okay is that him or his programming well I'm going to tell you it's most likely his programming but the key here is he doesn't have to break down and cry and admit everything's terrible or whatever there isn't be anything dramatic here you're sending a very clear signal though John I'm concerned and if you ever get to the point where you're ready to talk about it I'm ready to listen now since you're very likely to get it tense denial with the first time you reach out and by the way you have to expect it doesn't mean you've failed okay intense denial is normal almost all the time I'm gonna encourage you to be persistent don't make them think they've got a target on their back or that you're stalking them but every once in a while hey John it's like taking my doctor hat off again how are you doing you're sending that signal that when you get ready to talk I'm ready to listen now your odds are best because of the gender biases between men and women being willing to admit that there's an issue the highest odds of you being able to reach out to somebody and make a connection the first time or if you're a woman reaching out to a good friend who's also a woman the lowest or if you're a man reaching out to somebody who's not a good friend of yours who happens to be another man but the key is if you suspect somebody's burned out and struggling please reach out overcome the taboo take your doctor hat off reach out to them heart to heart and be totally prepared for intense rejection because their programming won't let it be any other way but do not let that stop you be persistent come from your heart ask them how they're doing and eventually if it's right they may open up to you and you may forge a connection with them that is potentially life-saving so if you think somebody's in trouble reach out take your hat off and keep it up that make sense I hope that helps I think that you'll find this makes a huge difference and persistence will – we can by our efforts of reaching out and trying to take better care of each other we can't actually shift the culture of the workplace and I encourage you to play your part in doing just that that's all for now keep breathing and have a great rest of your day

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