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Medscape Education Partners with Emory University to Tackle Worsening Doctor Burnout in The Age of COVID

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Launches New Program to Support Mental & Emotional Well-being of Healthcare Professionals

New York, NY, October 12, 2020:  With national reports showing intensifying levels of burnout and loneliness among physicians, Medscape Education today launches a new series, The Doctor’s Dilemma: Overcoming Burnout https://medscape.org/collection/doctors-dilemmafocused on giving health care professionals (HCPs) evidence-based tools to alleviate mental and emotional distress during the pandemic and beyond.

Developed in partnership with Emory University, the five-episode series, free to physicians and other health care professionals (HCPs), combines video storytelling, clinician interviews and evidenced-based approaches from health experts, including Cognitive-Based Compassion Training (CBCT), Community Resiliency Model (CRM) therapy and techniques from contemplative sciences, such as self-care and mindfulness.

In the most recent Medscape poll on physicians’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly two-thirds of doctors reported worsening burnout, up from 42% in early 2020, with female and GenX physicians (those born between 1965 and 1980) reporting the highest levels. 

One in four physicians reported problems with relationships, and others indicated higher stress due to COVID-19-related loss of income. Reports have documented concerning levels of depression among doctors, even prior to the pandemic, due to large patient volumes, long hours, and challenges with electronic medical records and overwhelming bureaucratic demands.  

Medscape has found that fewer than half (43%) of physicians have access to workplace programs to help them cope with grief and stress.

“When doctors and nurses suffer mentally, healthcare, hospitals, and patients do, too,” said Hansa Bhargava, M.D., Senior Medical Director, Medscape, and moderator and co-creator of The Doctor’s Dilemma.  “We know that hospitals are taking notice of this issue, but there are still too few programs available. We have to act now, as a medical community, to help ourselves. It is a crisis for many of us and there is growing research and scientific evidence that CBCT, CRM and other techniques can make a difference.”  

The series delivers information on tools that doctors can quickly learn and realistically implement. Video vignettes depict the daily struggles contributing to the problem, and expert insights and solutions address what real-life HCPs can do, all with the goal of reducing burnout or preventing it from escalating to depression, anxiety or other mood disorders.   

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The series features:

  • Linda Grabbe, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor at the Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, and developer of the Community Resiliency Model
  • Lobsang Tenzin Negi, PhD, former Tibetan monk and Executive Director of the Compassion Center at Emory University, on CBCT techniques, to decrease cortisol and other inflammatory markers, and reduce stress in students
  • Alanna Levine, M.D. and Anthony Chang, M.D., on pivoting, growth and changes that can help physicians find career fulfillment
  • David Lawson, M.D., an oncologist, and his experiences with Cognitive-Based Compassion Training to defeat burnout
  • Anthony Mazzarelli, M.D.  and Stephen Trzeciak, M.D., authors of Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence That Caring Makes A Difference

“We often don’t think of doctors diving into methods such as self-compassion, gratitude practices or mindfulness trainings,” said Dr. Bhargava, “but younger physicians and female physicians’ no longer want to hide stoically behind the white coat. They want to feel better.”

About Medscape Education

Medscape Education (medscape.org), a division of Medscape, is the leading destination for continuous professional development, consisting of more than 30 specialty-focused destinations offering thousands of free C.M.E. and C.E. courses and other educational programs for physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals.

Medscape is the leading source of clinical news, health information, and point-of-care tools for health care professionals. Medscape offers specialists, primary care physicians, and other health professionals the most robust and integrated medical information and educational tools. Medscape is a subsidiary of WebMD Health Corp.

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