Elevate 2018: Recognizing and Rectifying Early-Career Burnout
In her first job out of residency, Vania Manipod, DO, started noticing feelings of mental exhaustion, waning empathy, and overwhelming failure. Attempts at self-care had little effect.
Although she couldn’t quite pinpoint what was wrong, her aha moment arrived when she came across an article on physician burnout. In it, the young psychiatrist recognized herself.
“Not only did I find it extremely validating, knowing that I wasn't the only one experiencing this,” Dr. Manipod recalled, “but I also became passionately motivated to share my personal story, help others advocate for themselves in their careers to reduce burnout, and end the shame that surrounds it.”
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Dr. Manipod will address burnout head-on at the upcoming Elevate by Psych Congress conference in Austin, Texas. During her February 24 talk, she will brief attendees on the symptoms and causes of burnout, and will provide ways for those affected to cope and move forward in its presence.
While burnout in general is garnering more attention than it once did, Dr. Manipod believes there should be greater focus on its effect on early-career clinicians.
“Upon graduating from our programs, there's a huge adjustment in the transition from student/trainee to independently practicing clinician, so the inclusion of programs discussing burnout in the training curricula should ideally be implemented and researched to see if prevalence of burnout decreases as a result of interventions provided early on in our training,” she said.
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Limited resources combined with a growing demand for mental health treatment puts mental health professionals at high risk of burning out, Dr. Manipod explained. For her part, she addressed her burnout symptoms— and a misalignment between her and her employer’s views on what constitutes quality care—by leaving her job.
“I decided the best way to provide the best possible care for my patients was to take control of my life and career,” said Dr. Manipod, who now practices in Ventura, California, and blogs at freudandfashion.com. “Having more flexibility in my schedule has allowed me to prioritize things important to me outside of medicine while also providing the best care possible for my patients.”