Medicine Is Sick: Burnout in healthcare

The United States Surgeon General has issued an advisory about healthcare burnout, and evidence is shown through these three frontline workers and their firsthand accounts on the impacts of burnout.

Ed Smalivitz has been in the medical field for 42 years and walked away due to burnout. He built a large geriatric practice he was proud of but found it difficult that 70% of his workload came from a lack of help or resources. He genuinely worries about the future of the medical field and the costs associated with patients getting the care they need.

Ed’s wife, Rhonda Stein, also recently retired from the medical field and now feels free. She has a passion for people and felt the medical field was becoming less about the people and more about money. She shares that the lack of resources is a huge barrier to the healthcare system in America. Rhonda misses the people but does not miss the woes accompanying being in the medical field.

Parinda Patel has been in the medical field for three and a half years. She sees up to six patients daily and saw double that number during the height of the pandemic. These numbers became overwhelming because she was not able to connect as closely with patients. She agrees the system is broken, and patients should be first. Parinda experienced so much frustration but remains passionate about the medical field and is not yet ready to give it up.

As two doctors retire with skepticism and one carries on with optimism, it is important to continue these conversations and affect changes in the medical field.

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