Resilience Experts Release Two Books That Help Physicians and Other Healthcare Pros Thrive in High-Burnout Settings
Healthcare has a huge problem with burnout. Two new books—one addressing physicians specifically, and one oriented to everyone working in healthcare—offer a wealth of practical coping skills to help people thrive amid the chaos.
Whether you’re a physician, a nurse, or any other professional working in today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing healthcare industry, stress is a given. Overwork is a reality. Work/home conflict is likely. For all of these reasons (and many others) serious, career-ending, health-threatening psychological distress is a real possibility. In fact, reported rates of burnout are often north of 50 percent—and that’s bad for patients, organizations, and of course the care providers themselves.
That’s why Drs. Gary R. Simonds and Wayne M. Sotile are releasing two unique books aimed at helping healthcare professionals not just survive this high-burnout environment, but gain the coping skills that will allow them to actually thrive.
The Thriving Physician: How to Avoid Burnout by Choosing Resilience Throughout Your Medical Career (Huron|Studer Group Publishing, 2018, ISBN: 978-1-62218-101-8, $32.00) and Thriving in Healthcare: A Positive Approach to Reclaim Balance and Avoid Burnout in Your Busy Life (Huron|Studer Group Publishing, 2019, ISBN: 978-1-62218-108-7, $32.00) are “survival guides for the psyche,” say the authors.
Drs. Simonds and Sotile don’t shy away from acknowledging the stressors that physicians and other healthcare professionals face every day and that often lead to burnout. To name just a few:
- The burden of electronic medical records
- Lack of support and appreciation
- High expectations paired with low control
- Unrealistic patient (and family) expectations
- Exposure to death and tragedy
- Too much to do in too little time
- Unrelenting responsibility
- (And many more)
However, they insist that there are many strategies and tactics proven to help people flourish even in the stress cauldron of modern healthcare. These practical solutions are based on the authors’ decades of coaching healthcare professionals, and on their experiences developing a unique and ground-breaking resilience program for an ultra-high intensity healthcare team (the Neurosurgery Division at Carilion Clinic—Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine).
“The stressors inherent in healthcare aren’t going away,” says Dr. Sotile. “But with self-compassion and the nurturing of important relationships, physicians and other healthcare workers can cope with them in a healthy way. Our books convey a reassuring message: Okay, maybe you can’t control 90 percent of what’s going on around you, but what if you focus on the 10 percent you can change? What we find is that that when people take charge of that 10 percent it can have a disproportionately huge positive impact on their psyche.”
A few details on each book:
The Thriving Physician
From the rigors of medical school to the high stakes, rapidly changing, multi-tasking reality of practice, physicians face unbelievable stress for years on end. But it is possible to deal with stressors in a positive, life- and career-affirming way. In this book Drs. Simonds and Sotile:
- Explore an array of stressors—from time starvation to the tyranny of call to the constant exposure poor outcomes—and provide coping strategies designed to help you defuse them
- Offer probing questions related to each stressor to spark reflection and discussion with colleagues and loved ones
- Highlight what creative organizations are doing to help reshape the medical workplace to promote physician resilience
Thriving in Healthcare
Every healthcare worker knows colleagues who have wilted under the daily stress of their jobs. They’re burnt out, work stress has crept into their home life and severely disrupted it, and they need some form of respite. Meanwhile, their responsibilities are dispersed amongst the remaining team, and the cycle continues. Drs. Simonds and Sotile have a solution. In this book they:
- Debunk the myth of work-life balance and help you find the blend that works for you
- Hardwire healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with on-the-job stressors like EMRs, decision disempowerment, unrealistic patient expectations, and more.
- Foster a collaborative and joyful workplace culture that encourages teamwork
These books are meant to be tactical, practical, and reassuring as they explore stressors unique to healthcare with raw honesty and empathy. And the authors weave in real life anecdotes throughout, taking their insights and advice from theoretical to deeply personal and relatable.
Drs. Simonds and Sotile hope their books appeal not only to physicians and care providers themselves, but also to the leaders tasked with creating high-performing systems and organizations where the best and brightest want to work and where patients can count on receiving great care.
“When burnout and emotional distress are rampant, patient care, quality, safety, and cost all suffer,” says Dr. Simonds. “So if an organization’s leaders can teach physicians and other care providers coping skills that allow them to thrive instead of wilting in stressful environments, they will quickly find that they stand out from the crowd. A resilient workforce can be a great differentiator and a competitive advantage.”
# # #
About the Authors:
Gary R. Simonds, MD, MHCDS and Wayne M. Sotile, PhD, are coauthors of The Thriving Physician: How to Avoid Burnout by Choosing Resilience Throughout Your Medical Career (Huron|Studer Group Publishing, 2018, ISBN: 978-1-62218-101-8, $32.00) and Thriving in Healthcare: A Positive Approach to Reclaim Balance and Avoid Burnout in Your Busy Life (Huron|Studer Group Publishing, 2019, ISBN: 978-1-62218-108-7, $32.00).
Dr. Simonds is a highly experienced clinical and academic neurosurgeon. He trained at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and completed a medical research fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He also holds a master’s degree in health care delivery science from Dartmouth College. He is a professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, the Virginia Tech School of Neuroscience, and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Known for his compassion and broad neurosurgical expertise, Dr. Simonds has personally performed over 13,500 operations, adult and pediatric. His interests have included socioeconomic issues affecting patient care, medical ethics, education of all levels of learners, and the promotion of wellness in medical practitioners and trainees. He recently retired from his position as Chief of Neurosurgery, and Residency Program Director at Carilion Clinic—Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
Dr. Sotile is the founder of the Sotile Center for Resilience and the Center for Physician Resilience, in Davidson, North Carolina. Of the 45,000 people they have coached or counseled, more than 70 percent have worked in healthcare, including 12,000 physicians. Dr. Sotile is an international thought leader on resilience and work/life balance for busy professionals. He has published widely in the peer-reviewed medical literature and has authored nine books. His work is featured frequently in the national print and television media and he has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS Morning, Dateline NBC, and other broadcast programs.
As one of the most sought-after keynote speakers today, Dr. Sotile has delivered more than 9,000 invited addresses and workshops to audiences of high performing professionals across disciplines. He consults nationally with organizations interested in deepening workforce resilience and leadership passion and effectiveness.
Dr. Sotile earned a B.S. degree in psychology from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of South Carolina. He completed his clinical training in Medical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center.
About the Books:
The Thriving Physician: How to Avoid Burnout by Choosing Resilience Throughout Your Medical Career (Huron|Studer Group Publishing, 2018, ISBN: 978-1-62218-101-8, $32.00) is available from major online booksellers and https://publishing.studergroup.com/products?search=the+thriving+physician.
Thriving in Healthcare: A Positive Approach to Reclaim Balance and Avoid Burnout in Your Busy Life (Huron|Studer Group Publishing, 2019, ISBN: 978-1-62218-108-7, $32.00) is available from major online booksellers and