Media for the Week: Physician Burnout

Here are some intereting videos on burnout in the medical field.

Research of the Week: On Physician and Surgeon Burnout

The following articles  include some very relevant research on phsycian and surgeon burnout.

Chakravarti, A., Raazi, M., O’Brien, J., & Balaton, B. (2016). Anesthesiology Resident Wellness Program at the University of Saskatchewan: curriculum content and delivery. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia/Journal canadien danesthésie,64(2), 199-210. doi:10.1007/s12630-016-0773-0.
Cicchinelli, L. D. (2017). Comments from a Veteran Mission Surgeon. The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery,56(2), 223. doi:10.1053/j.jfas.2017.01.032
Deb, A. (2017). Practical Considerations in Addressing Physician Burnout. CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning in Neurology,23, 557-562. doi:10.1212/con.0000000000000461.
Fumis, R. R., Amarante, G. A., Nascimento, A. D., & Junior, J. M. (2017). Moral distress and its contribution to the development of burnout syndrome among critical care providers. Annals of Intensive Care,7(1). doi:10.1186/s13613-017-0293-2.
Grocott, H. P., & Bryson, G. L. (2016). The physician at risk: disruptive behaviour, burnout, addiction, and suicide. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia/Journal canadien danesthésie,64(2), 119-121. doi:10.1007/s12630-016-0782-z.
Hirayama, M., & Fernando, S. (2016). Burnout in surgeons and organisational interventions. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. doi:10.1177/0141076816666810.
Mendelsohn, D., Despot, I., Gooderham, P., Singhal, A., Redekop, G., & Toyota, B. (2017). B.01 Impact of work-hours and sleep on well-being and burnout for physicians-in-training: the prospective RATE Study. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences / Journal Canadien des Sciences Neurologiques,44(S2). doi:10.1017/cjn.2017.72.
Meyer, R. A. (2017). Burned Out or Bummed Out. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. doi:10.1016/j.joms.2017.04.047
Nahai, F. (2016). When Love Is Not Enough. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. doi:10.1093/asj/sjw223.
Nguyen, M. C., & Moffatt-Bruce, S. D. (2017). Surgical Quality and Safety: Current Initiatives and Future Directions. The SAGES Manual Transitioning to Practice,125-144. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-51397-3_9.
Stein, S. L. (2017). The Changing Face of Surgery Today. Annals of Surgery,1. doi:10.1097/sla.0000000000002337.
Swendiman, R. A. (2017). Cognitive Dissonance in Training. Annals of Surgery,265(6), 1062-1063. doi:10.1097/sla.0000000000002145.
Winkel, A. F., Nguyen, A. T., Morgan, H. K., Valantsevich, D., & Woodland, M. B. (2017). Whose Problem Is It? The Priority of Physician Wellness in Residency Training. Journal of Surgical Education,74(3), 378-383. doi:10.1016/j.jsurg.2016.10.009.
Wuest, T. K., Goldberg, M. J., & Kelly, J. D. (2016). Clinical Faceoff: Physician Burnout—Fact, Fantasy, or the Fourth Component of the Triple Aim? Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®,475(5), 1309-1314. doi:10.1007/s11999-016-5193-5.




This post will focus on  misunderstandings cross-culturally. Everyone at some point will experience a cultural misunderstanding if they interact for a long enough with another country.  Most of the time they can be resolved quickly and painlessly. However, there are certain occaisions where more detailed explorations into culture and asumptions.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Identify cultural assumptions
  2.  Be willing to learn about other cultures perspectives on the topic.
  3.  Have self- awareness of your own cultural practices, prejudices, bias etc. This will help you solve the conflict easier.
  4. Empathy is important.
  5.  Examine your own cultural values to see where they might clash with another person’s values.
  6. Learn about how the culture in question resolves conflicts.
  7. Build on common ground between you and the other party.
  8. Break down the power structure.  Work to empower them to share their side of the story.
  9. Look for a mediator who understands both cultures if possible.  Hire an expert if necessary.
  10. Remember that the process of resolving serious misunderstandings can take time.

Research Update

Here are some interesting articles  from the research community recently:

Bokhari, R. (2016). Improving patient safety as a function of organizational ethics in the delivery of healthcare in Saudi Arabia (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University).
Hong, J. Y., & Yoo, E. K. (2016). Perception and Associated Factors on Patient Safety Culture of Care Helper in Nursing Facility. International Information Institute (Tokyo). Information, 19(11B), 5577.

Lee, C. T. S., & Doran, D. M. (2017). The Role of Interpersonal Relations in Healthcare Team Communication and Patient Safety: A Proposed Model of Interpersonal Process in Teamwork. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 0844562117699349.

Lillibridge, N., Botti, M., Wood, B., & Redley, B. (2017). An observational study of patient care outcomes sensitive to handover quality in the Post‐Anaesthetic Care Unit. Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Makkar, N., & Jain, K. (2017). To study the impact of design considerations on customer satisfaction in a dialysis facility of a super-specialty tertiary care hospital in Delhi, India. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 5(6), 2563-2571.
Martinez, W., Lehmann, L. S., Thomas, E. J., Etchegaray, J. M., Shelburne, J. T., Hickson, G. B., … & Bell, S. K. (2017). Speaking Up About Traditional and Professionalism-Related Patient Safety Threats.
Merino-Plaza, M. J., Carrera-Hueso, F. J., Castillo-Blasco, M., Martínez-Asensi, A., Martínez-Capella, R., & Fikri-Benbrahim, N. (2017, April). Evolution of patient safety culture in a medium-stay hospital: monitoring indicators. In Anales del sistema sanitario de Navarra (Vol. 40, No. 1, p. 43).
Merkel, M. J., von Dossow, V., & Zwißler, B. (2017). Structured patient handovers in perioperative medicine: Rationale and implementation in clinical practice. Der Anaesthesist.
Muñoz, M. (2017). No Pass Zone: Call Light Response and Interdisciplinary Teamwork.
Ott, L. K. (2017). Shielding From Harm: What Can You Do? Speak Up. Journal of Radiology Nursing, 36(2), 136-137.
Paramalingam, V., Swift, S., Smith, O., Williams, M., Greco, P., Every, H., … & Baker, A. (2017). Improving Quality and Safety in the ICU through the Introduction of a Procedural Checklist and Pause. Canadian Journal of Critical Care Nursing, 28(2).
Piva, E., Sciacovelli, L., Pelloso, M., & Plebani, M. (2017). Performance specifications of critical results management. Clinical Biochemistry.
Villiers-Tuthill, A., Doulougeri, K., McGee, H., Montgomery, A., Panagopoulou, E., & Morgan, K. (2017). Development and Validation of a Cross-Country Hospital Patient Quality of Care Assessment Tool in Europe. The Patient-Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, 1-9.
Wollenhaup, C. A., Stevenson, E. L., Thompson, J., Gordon, H. A., & Nunn, G. (2017). Implementation of a Modified Bedside Handoff for a Postpartum Unit. Journal of Nursing Administration, 47(6), 320-326.

An Interesting talk by the Berman Institute

Today we thought we would share an interesting video on ethics presented by the Berman Institute.

Here’s the description as written on their Youtube site: “How should we respond to patients who make racist, sexist or otherwise offensive comments? How should we respond to patients who make a request, based on bigotry, for a different health care provider? What are the key ethics and professionalism considerations to bear in mind when thinking about an appropriate response to these questions? Drs. Joe Carrese, Ellen Durant, Ali Thayer, and James Page discuss these questions, drawing on their own experiences.”

What do you think?  Share your comments below.

Why You Won’t Find Psychologists or Psychiatrists On Our Current Team…

Some of you may be surprised that in improving team dynamics and cross-cultural communication within the context of patient care and medical professional well-being, we don’t have any Psychiatrists or Psychologists on our team. In this post, we’ll explain why this is our current model.

1. The first reason why we don’t have any Psychologists, Psychiatrists on our current team is because we partner with departments and individuals at the clients’ locations that specialise in those fields. We also work with Social Work and HR teams in conjunction with the aforementioned departments and our direct clients’ departments. Example: If our client is the Department of Radiation Oncology at an institution, we connect to their department and any other department that would be able to collaborate with us and our client to develop strategies to overcome the problems at hand.

2. Along with point 1, we prefer to tap into existing systems and resources that our clients have in place and save the client money. We don’t want the client to have to pay expensive consulting fees for mental health professionals when they have exceptional individuals working with them on their staff.

3. Moreover, we have noticed that many Physicians and Surgeons are wary of seeking the help of mental health professionals, because of concerns regarding renewals of licences and the way that seeking mental health looks on their record. Some even suffer silently, because they are worried about losing the permission to do their jobs. When it comes to patient care, it’s easier for them to collaborate with other professionals.

4. At present, we are taking a slightly different approach to cross-cultural communication and well-being, in that we are focusing on a language and cultural approach. Our model takes things from interpersonal communication, diversity and linguistic angles, focusing on strategies to build teams and prevent breakdowns that can lead to more serious situations and the need for mental health professionals’ guidance. Also, we help our clients ‘clean up’ in the aftermath of a messy situation involving language, culture or diversity, and develop tools for avoiding the same situation in the future. In all of these cases, we regularly collaborate with mental health professionals, but our lens is more focused on the culture and communication piece.

5.  As language and culture professionals, we focus on consulting and coaching, not counselling. Here are a few definitions for your consideration:

  • Coaching: Coaching develops leadership, strategy, relationships and communication through facilitation, accountability, listening, and challenge.
  • Consulting: Giving expert advice, strategies, expertise, and experienced opinions to clients on decisions and situations of importance. Consultants are specialists in their field.
  • Counselling: Helping people resolve psychological or mental health problems, through licenced mental health counselling.

Again, let it be very clear: We do not offer psychological, psychiatric or other mental health counselling in our sessions. We also do not offer therapy.

So what is our focus more specifically? 

The main focus is on helping each client navigate and enhance cross-cultural relationships, improve communication with peers and patients. We also use the aforementioned language and cultural tools to foster positive environments that improve well-being and efficiency in medical teams.

Our coaching/consulting relationship is a partnership which:

  • Unlocks a potential to maximise performance.
  • Allows the client flexibility
  • Encourages accountability
  • Helps clients learn by doing
  • Inspires creative thinking, growth, and strategies
  • Provides structure, advice and guidance

Our Responsibilities When Working With Clients:

1. Ask questions, encourage, advise, challenge, make requests and listen.
2. Keep you on track with your goals, values and vision.
3. Value clarification, identifying plans of action, and examining modes of operating.
4. Giving feedback and empowering actions.
5. Provide and facilitate sessions.
6. Customise sessions to fit each client’s need.
7. Demonstrate 100% commitment to the process.

Responsibilities of the Client:
1. Expect Your Best – Give Your Best Effort.
2. Be Willing to Change and Take Action.
3. Be Open to Feedback.
4. Do the Required Homework.
5. Let Your Coach Know How You Feel About the Process.
6. Be Committed and Focused.
7. Request Adjustments as Needed to Help Your Learning.
8. Understand That You Will Grow.
9. Be Willing to Step Up to Face the Challenge.

Will Coaching Really Help?
Check out this helpful article from the Harvard Business Review for more information:

To learn more about us and our model, please visit our website.

©Allison J. Weaver Consulting, LLC 2017


Thoughts About Mobile Apps and Other Things…

Today’s bonus post will include a few apps that we have found to be the most useful, and a few announcements.

Part 1: Announcements

1. Some of you have been waiting patiently for the newsletter to come out. We’ll be resleasing the newsletter this June. Why the wait? We’re waiting to roll out a few opportunities prior to releasing the newsletter. What are those opportunities? Read on…

2. Firstly, we’re producing our new podcast, which should be released this Spring. You won’t want to miss our culture tips, hot research and musical recommendations each week. The pdocast will be catered specifically to those working in the medical field, especially surgeons, physicians and researchers.

3. Secondly, we’ll be releasing a FREE WEBINAR on conflict in the workplace, coming up very soon. The webinar will be available live, and will also be reposed in part on YouTube for those who participate. Webinars will taking place on a montly basis. Similarly, we will have several free downloads available through our website.

4. Another thing we are working is producing some exclusive paid content including helpful slide decks and webinar lectures on various cultural and commmunication topics.

5. We’ll also be releasing a forum through our website by the end of the year.

As usual, our consulting services are available to interested parties. For more information, e-mail us at

Do you have useful products in mind that you’d like to see us produce?  Feel free to comment below.

PART 2: Apps

Now for the fun part. Here are several apps that we have enjoyed  using recently, and descriptions from their developers:

  1. Evernote– “Evernote gives you the tools you need to keep your work effortlessly organized.”
  2. Sleep as Android– “Smart alarm clock with sleep cycle tracking. Wakes you gently in optimal moment for pleasant mornings.Features:
    – Sleep cycle tracking with smart wake up uses your phone’s or wearable sensors (2 weeks trial) – Optional Pebble, Android Wear or Galaxy Gear smart watch tracking
    – Google Fit, S Health integration – Smart bulb control with Philips HUE
    – Sleep deficit, deep sleep and snoring statistics – Facebook, Twitter sharing
    – Gentle volume nature sound alarms (birds, sea, storm…) and playlists
    – Nature sound lullabies (whales, storm, sea, chants..) with binaural tones for fast fall asleep – Spotify integration or online radio alarms or lullabies
    – Never oversleep again with CAPTCHA wake up verification (Math, Sheep counting, Phone shaking, Bathroom QR code or NFC tag) – Sleep talk recording, snoring detection and anti-snoring – Jet lag prevention – Oximetric Sleep Apnea pre-screening…”
  3. All-In-One Calculator- “Meet CalcKit, the most powerful All-in-One Calculator Pack for Android. Featuring over 150 unique calculators and unit converters, packed in with a highly customizable scientific calculator and even letting you build your own calculators and converters, CalcKit is the All-in-One Calculator you’ve been dreaming about. These features, combined with an intuitive and eye-catching design, make CalcKit stand out from its competitors.”
  4. Librivox: “LibriVox Audio Books offers unlimited access to over 24,000 free audiobooks. Each LibriVox audiobook can be streamed over the internet or downloaded for later use without any charge. The LibriVox Audio Books app includes listings for new recordings, featuring classic best sellers and out of print treasures.”
  5. Moon+ Reader– ”  Innovative book reader with powerful controls & full functions: Read thousands of ebooks for free, supports online ebook libraries… Read local books with smooth scroll and tons of innovation… Support epub, pdf, mobi, chm, cbr, cbz, umd, fb2, txt, html, rar, zip or OPDS..”
  6. Pixlr– “Unlock your creativity with Pixlr – the free photo editor! Capture any moment and make it beautiful with over 2 million combinations of free effects, overlays, and filters. Once you’re done, share your finished work directly to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or your other favorite social networks!”
  7. Easy XKCD– “A fast and beautiful way to view your favorite xkcd comics.”
  8. Polaris office– ” Experience New All-in-One Complete Office Suite compatible with MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe PDF.”
  9. Tiny Scanner – “Tiny Scanner is a little scanner app that turns android device into a portable document scanner and scan everything as images or PDFs.”

All of these apps have been fantastic to use.  Yes,  we realize that our list is biased toward Android today, but we  plan to review other apps for iPhone soon. With that being said, several of the apps listed above are cross-platform.

©Allison J. Weaver Consulting, LLC 2017