Conference Coverage

Psychiatrists urged to take lead in recognizing physician burnout



Many tools already generated by this collaboration can be found in the NAM website at This section of the website not only includes data about burnout as well as presentation slides for download on the topic, but it is expected to be “a growing repository for solutions that work,” Dr. Kirch said.

Ted Bosworth/MDedge News
Dr. Darrell G. Kirch
This is not the only source of information and help. Dr. Kirch said the APA also provides support on its website at That resource includes an online self-assessment tool, and tools for addressing burnout and achieving a better work-life balance. Dr. Kirch indicated that psychiatrists should take the lead in recognizing burnout among themselves, fellow psychiatrists, and other clinicians.

This was not news to those who attended the APA symposium. When Dr. Kirch asked the audience who had treated a colleague for burnout, almost every hand was raised. This would not be surprising, except that the leaders in this field so far have typically not been psychiatrists, Dr. Kirch said.

For example, an increasing number of medical centers are following the lead of Stanford (Calif.) University, which appointed Tate D. Shanafelt, MD, as its first chief wellness officer. However, to the knowledge of Dr. Kirch, none of the appointments have gone to a psychiatrist.

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