Innovations in Resilience, Buffalo, MN
Why is being an advocate so important to you?
As a recovering burned out physician, I have seen first-hand the personal pain and devastation that happens when our medical culture consistently puts others before ourselves. While this concept is a noble, especially in trying times like the recent pandemic, its long-term effects have led to the skyrocketing rates of burnout and suicides among medical practitioners. That’s where my journey into my own personal wellbeing began…with the loss of a colleague to suicide and a realization that there were many around me in the same situation. It became my life’s work to help people rediscover joy, meaning, and purpose in their work and personal lives. With burnout rates increasing even more over the past few years with the COVID pandemic, this work is more important now than ever.
What health-care related issue(s) have you advocated for over the past year?
I have been advocating for nearly a decade on the continued leadership development and wellbeing of physicians. My career has shifted from doing my own work on personal development and wellbeing, to working for a system to try to make a difference in leadership and organizational development and organizational efficiency. Most recently, while large health organizations have been struggling to find traction to support physicians, I started working for myself and created www.bouncetravels.com to help physicians engage in their own healing and wellbeing through CME and travel retreats. I also have created www.innovationsinresilience.com for organizations to invest in the leadership and personal development of all health care providers. I am also co-chairing the MMA’s new Physician Leadership Institute and the MMA’s Joy in Medicine conference. I believe that physicians are natural leaders AND if we wait for employers to create an organization that supports our wellbeing in a way that makes sense, we are giving away the keys to our happiness.
What advice would you offer to others who are interested in advocacy?
Advocacy starts with standing up for something that has meaning to you. Engaging in making a difference is what we do in medicine. That difference can take many forms, from taking care of patients, advocating at the capitol, or speaking up for yourself and your colleagues for their health and well-being. Find something you love and do it. I will end with a quote from Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”