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Combating Physician Burnout

A Guide for Psychiatrists

Edited by Sheila LoboPrabhu, M.D., Richard F. Summers, M.D., and H. Steven Moffic, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-61537-272-0
  • Item #37272

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By any metric, burnout is a pressing issue in medicine generally and psychiatry specifically—particularly because of its potential impacts on patient care.

Combating Physician Burnout: A Guide for Psychiatrists, the first book of its kind to focus on the field of psychiatry, aims to educate psychiatrists about three key concepts: stress, burnout, and physician impairment. Edited by recognized experts on physician burnout, this volume features contributions from domestic and international authorities in the field, including academic and community psychiatrists, those involved in residency and medical student education, and members of the American Psychiatric Association Work Group on Psychiatrist Well-being and Burnout.

Five sections lay out the scope of the challenge and outline potential interventions:

  • The introduction discusses the history and social context of burnout, providing psychiatrists struggling through burnout with important perspective.
  • The second section, The Continuum of Stress, Burnout, and Impairment explores the potential effects of burnout on clinical care and examines depression and suicide among physicians.
  • Environmental Factors Leading to Burnout identifies contextual elements that seem to contribute to burnout, including the electronic health record and the challenge of balancing professional and personal demands.
  • The fourth section of the book discusses a range of systemic and individual interventions, included among them organizational screening for burnout, peer review and support, and mindfulness training and meditation.
  • The final section, Ethics and Burnout, tackles the moral challenge burnout poses to the profession of psychiatry.

Regardless of career stage, readers will benefit from the unique psychiatric perspective on burnout—and the practical advice on combating its effects—offered by this guide.


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. The History of Burnout in Society, Medicine, and Psychiatry
  • Chapter 2. The Social Context of Physician Burnout
  • The Continuum of Stress, Burnout and Impairment
  • Chapter 3. Identifying the Continuum of Stress and Burnout
  • Chapter 4. Understanding Burnout and its Potential Effects on Clinical Care
  • Chapter 5. From Burnout to Impairment: The Slippery Slope
  • Chapter 6. Physician Depression and Suicide
  • Environmental Factors Leading to Burnout
  • Chapter 7. U.S. Physicians and Work-Home Conflict
  • Chapter 8. Electronic Health Records and Physician Burnout
  • Chapter 9. Physician Satisfaction and Burnout at Various Career Stages
  • Chapter 10. Burnout among Medical Students and Residents
  • Addressing and Preventing Physician Burnout
  • Chapter 11. A Model for Maintaining Well-Being and Preventing Burnout for Psychiatrists
  • Chapter 12. Psychiatrist Burnout: Prevention and Intervention
  • Chapter 13. The Role of Health System Innovation in Preventing Psychiatrist Burnout
  • Ethics and Burnout
  • Chapter 14. Establishing and Maintaining Proportional Authority, Responsibility and Expertise to Prevent Burnout
  • Chapter 15. Wellbeing, Professionalism and the Ethics of Resilience
  • Index


    Joan M. Anzia, M.D.
    Stewart Babbott, M.D., FACP
    Lisa Boyars, M.D.
    Julie Chilton, M.D.
    Gary Chinman, M.D.
    Howard Dichter, M.D.
    Anita Everett, M.D., DFAPA
    Constance Guille, M.D., MSCR
    Philip J. Kroth, M.D., M.Sc.
    Rishi Kumar
    Shailesh Kumar, M.D., FRANZCP, FRCPsych, Diploma in Psychological
    Medicine, MPhil
    Randall M. Levin, M.D., FACEP-Life
    Sheila LoboPrabhu, M.D.
    Andres Martin, M.D., M.P.H.
    Laurel E.S. Mayer, M.D.
    H. Steven Moffic, M.D.
    Victor Molinari, Ph.D.
    Nidal Moukaddam, M.D., Ph.D.
    David Pollack, M.D.
    Anthony L. Rostain, M.D., M.A.
    Hillary Rouse, M.A.
    Luis T. Sanchez, M.D.
    Eva Schernhammer, M.D., Dr.P.H., M.Phil.
    Asim Shah, M.D.
    Cynthia M. Stonnington, M.D.
    Richard F. Summers, M.D.
    Kenneth Thau, M.D.
    Linda L. M. Worley, M.D.
    Claudia Zimmermann, M.A., M.Sc. (Oxon)

About the Authors

Sheila LoboPrabhu, M.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine and Staff Psychiatrist at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston, Texas.

Richard F. Summers, M.D.,
is Senior Residency Advisor and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

H. Steven Moffic, M.D., is retired tenured Professor of Psychiatry of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Combating Burnout: A Guide for Psychiatrists is an exceptionally well written and thoughtful analysis of the myriad factors, both historical and current, which have contributed to the epidemic of burnout among psychiatrists as well as other health care providers. The book provides a comprehensive exploration and discussion of the individual and systemic pressures which shape the lives of those delivering health care in the US today. This is a must read for everyone from our beginning trainees to all our providers, our patients and our CEOs.—Carol A. Bernstein, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, NYU School of Medicine, Past President, American Psychiatric Association, Co-Chair, ACGME Task Force on Physician Wellbeing

While burnout has always been a deeply disconcerting feature of medical practice, it has only recently garnered the attention it deserves by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. Drs. LoboPrabhu, Summers and Moffic have produced an outstanding volume that covers the issue comprehensively and compassionately. This book is a 'must-read' for all physicians, medical students, and those in the helping professions who treat burnout in all its manifestations.—Glen O. Gabbard, M.D., Co-author of The Physician as Patient, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine

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