Tom Gallo: Burnout Needs to Be Addressed for All Members of the Care Team

All members of the care team can get burned out, not just the physicians, explained Tom Gallo, president of the Association of Community Cancer Centers.

Are there bad practices organizations should avoid when they’re looking to address burnout?
I think that there needs to be awareness in all organizations of the stress that everyone is under. And that’s not just the physicians, but really the entire cancer care team—everyone from the receptionist through the pharmacists, the financial counselors with the increasing financial toxicity. That’s an emotional interaction that they have with the patients. The patients are dealing with the emotional stresses of wondering if they’re going to be living or not, and then you couple that with the financial burden of the cost of our healthcare system. So, I think everyone on the team is under this additional stress.

Are there best practices for how to address the stresses that the care team is dealing with?
These are the things that I’m hoping to explore with my theme over the next year. I don’t have the answers to this right now. But we’re hoping that through the conversations that we’ll have over the next year, that we’ll be able to come up with some solutions that might improve the situation for our teams and really reignite their passion for what they’ve always wanted to do, which is take care of patients.
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