In this episode we interview Dr. Tait Shanafelt. Dr. Shanafelt is a Jeanie and Stewart Ritchie Professor of Medicine, Chief Wellness Officer, and associate dean at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is the co-author, with one of our former guests Steven Swenson, of “Mayo Clinic Strategies to Reduce Burnout”. He is credited for bringing physician-burnout to the forefront of healthcare discussion. He is a leader in the field of physician wellness and healthcare team efficiency. He has published numerous works on well being and his studies in this area have been cited by CNN, USA Today, and The New York Times.
We hope you enjoy this episode where we talk about his book, why wellness initiatives often fall flat, and how we can build a positive work environment.
Welcome to leading the rounds
Questions we asked:
- How has the pandemic changed the ideas you wrote into “Mayo Clinic Strategies to Reduce Burnout”?
- What systemic issues in healthcare wellbeing has the pandemic shined a light on?
- What were some of the processes that your team at Stanford implemented to fight the pandemic?
- Are financial constraints a valid argument for not prioritizing healthcare wellness?
- What makes a good wellness initiative?
- What would you say to a medical leader who is making excuses for not prioritizing physician wellness?
- ”The culture of our organizations is the foundation of wellbeing and professional fulfillment.”
- “It’s about organizational change, systems change, and culture change, not tips and tricks for personal resilience.”
- ”Our goal is to fix a broken work environment, not teach and train physicians to tolerate a broken work environment.”
- Ask your team, ”What do you need from your leaders that you’re not currently getting? What have your leaders done that has been effective?”
- ”Probably the most important thing we can do [is] listening.”
- ”When organizational wellness efforts are either lip service, or manifest as yoga and granola and learn how to practice mindfulness… they will fall flat.”
- ”Physicians have higher resilience than the general population.”
- ”Even physicians with the highest scores on resiliency… have high levels of burnout.”
- ”Our efforts are focused on improving the work environment.”
- ”The purpose of the leader is to accomplish the mission and attend to the welfare of the soldiers.”
- Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling by Edgar Schein
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
- Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan
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As physicians, we are immediately thrust into a leadership position from the moment we finish medical school. Despite this, most medical students will obtain little formal leadership training. We seek to improve our leadership abilities as burgeoning physicians. We developed this podcast to challenge ourselves to explore ideas in leadership development and how they apply to medical training. We hope to educate and motivate others to further develop themselves as leaders in health care.