STAT

Opinion: On the other side of physician burnout

To battle burnout, I became a part-time doctor, one who still loves the challenge and privilege of taking care of patients.

I’ve watched enough television shows to know what a burned-out physician is supposed to look like: crying in the stairwell, head hanging dejectedly, knees bent; the downward spiral into drugs and alcohol that leads to a near-miss in surgery; or the final, explosive monologue that alienates the doctor in front of patients and peers. A once-solid doctor now broken.

Mine didn’t happen that way. It was far more subtle and insidious, an accretion like the slow and steady drips that build stalagmites.

Drip: Twelve years of hustling at a hectic pace in a private pulmonary and critical care practice covering three busy hospitals and intensive care units, packed

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