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Dr Kathleen Blake Highlights Telltale Signs of Burnout

There are ways to identify if a colleague is becoming burned out, but also ways people can identify burnout in themselves, explained Kathleen Blake, MD, MPH, vice president for Performance Improvement at the American Medical Association (AMA).


There are ways to identify if a colleague is becoming burned out, but also ways people can identify burnout in themselves, explained Kathleen Blake, MD, MPH, vice president for Performance Improvement at the American Medical Association (AMA).

Transcript

Are there telltale signs that someone is nearing burnout that can be identified so the practice or organization can intervene?

The first is for people to be able, if possible, to recognize it in themselves. That’s where doing the instruments—such as the AMA’s Mini Z, but there are other instruments—can help you score yourself, so to speak. And we have resources on a platform called Steps Forward—it’s StepsForward.org—and it is free. You do not need to be a member. You do not need to sign in. But there are a variety of tools, including that instrument.

Secondly, though, if you start to see that someone who has been a high performer for a long time, if their performance starts to deteriorate, that might be a sign of burnout. Just in the conversations y0ou have with that person, if they start to talk about feeling not effective, that they’re not feeling capable, and this is somebody who has been very capable throughout their career, that’s another tip off.

And then a sense of what you might call cynicism. And I don’t mean the occasional cynical remark, I mean it’s like a cloud has come over them and that cloud is cynicism.

 
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