In Good Hands

“You’re in good hands.”

It’s a phrase often associated with patient care. We all want to be assured that we are being taken care of by the best possible person for the job. Paddy Barrett, MD, argues that the same sense of support is as important for his fellow physicians.

“Despite having incredibly meaningful jobs, doctors are increasingly unhappy in their work,” explains Dr. Barrett. “We’re doing everything to look after our patients and, in the same moments, we are being blind to the health of our peers.”

For Dr. Barrett, that became a calling. “I wanted to explore why and, more importantly, I needed to find a way to shift this reality.” Whether you’re one of Dr. Barrett’s patients with a heart condition or one of many thousands of physicians tuning in to his weekly sessions to reconnect to the work you love — you really are in good hands.

Dr. Barrett is a trained Interventional Cardiologist and Clinician Scholar at the Scripps Translational Science Institute in San Diego, California. When he’s not leading innovations in digital medicine, you’ll find him getting to the root cause of physician burnout and related costly challenges on his acclaimed podcast show The Doctor Paradox.

Aside from his pioneering work as a physician, Dr. Barrett is helping so many of us rediscover the best of our profession — and we thank him for that.

Watch the story….

Q&A:

Q: The Doctor Paradox has become quite the forum for physicians to discuss our most common challenges. What are you learning?

Dr. Barrett: Ultimately the show is about sharing experiences. Many great physicians walk a difficult path alone and it’s enlightening to see how they have overcome difficult times, and how day-to-day practicing physicians are doing amazing things, often unnoticed. The podcast is really about telling the stories of medicine and sharing those conversations with others who might enjoy being a part of it. I have had an incredible opportunity to sit and talk with some truly amazing physicians and it has very much improved my perspective and what is possible in medicine.

PaddyCraft

Q: You and your guests tackle a lot of crucial conversations including burnout prevention. This is an issue affecting so many clinicians today. We know there is no easy response, but where do we start?

Dr. Barrett: There will always be challenges for those working in healthcare. It’s a challenging environment and I believe always will be. What I have learned is that what makes the difference is you incorporate a mechanism to continually remind yourself of the immense privilege we have as physicians in taking care of patients. Repeatedly giving yourself that perspective is important in reinforcing your purpose. Secondly, although we may dislike elements of our work, we all still love the art of medicine. It is crucial to appreciate that. The elements of your work are changeable and if you are unhappy, then change something. You have that control.

Q: Based on comments listeners share, its obvious your work at The Doctor Paradox is having an impact. Has the show been rewarding for you?

Dr. Barrett: I get feedback from listeners on a regular basis and it is usually a variant of the same comment: “Thank you for doing this.” It is so clear that the podcast fills a desperately unmet need. I think it is the first steps to improving the quality of life and work for physicians, but we have a long way to go. It is truly rewarding to know that people out there are listening, have walked the same path and are hopeful for their future in medicine.

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2 thoughts on “In Good Hands

  1. We are experiencing burn out in our organization. Young MDs leaving after several years of practice . Help us stop this – the docs that have been here a long time cope or retire early. New doctors are not willing to stay the course.

  2. Thanks so much for being part of the conversation. For a variety of reasons this is unfortunately an issue with many organizations across the US. The good news is that there is so much that can be done and a huge first step is in building insight. We are part way through crafting several modules on burnout and would hope to have those available very soon. In the interim I would suggest checking out the AMA StepsForward campaign on burnout. https://www.stepsforward.org/modules/physician-burnout .

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