How Celebration Can Help Curb Physician Burnout


What is it about our daily lives that causes us to just “phone it in”?

When a major sports team wins a championship or a famous actor gets an award, all sorts of hubbub happens to celebrate the good news.

But when our patient gets better after a big reconstructive surgery or after a long bout with an illness, we take it for granted. Where’s the back slapping?

I’ve discovered something keenly important about these events that has changed my world, and my patients’ world, too.

Here it is:

The celebration of getting better is just as important — maybe more so — than the cure!

We know that our patient is supposed to have less swelling and improved healing a couple weeks after surgery. So when they show up for their post-op visit, we nod to them (and ourselves) and move on.

But here’s the thing:

Our patients don’t always know they’re doing great.

It’s up to us to start the celebration.

Whether we’re celebrating that they’re recovering from an injury, feeling more energetic after an illness, or learning what works medically to have them feel better: it’s a win!

And letting our patients know that they are winning and have something to celebrate lets us (and our supporting staff!) celebrate, too.

Haven’t you heard the sense of pride in your technician or nurse’s voice when they say, “Mrs. Jones is doing so much better today,” or “Mr. Smith is healing great!”?

 Twitter-Icon_LoveMedicineAgain.comA victory for our patients is our celebration, too!

Adding the positive feedback to our patients, our staff, and ourselves, can make the difference between going down the vortex of negativity and coming out on top.

Teach your patients and your staff to celebrate the victories every day.

It can have a surprising effect on the energy in your office or operating room.

Please share one of your victories in the comment section below!




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2 thoughts on “How Celebration Can Help Curb Physician Burnout

  1. Paul DeChant, MD, MBA

    Thanks, Starla, for this reminder. We are so conditioned by our training to look for failure and expect success that we do miss out on these very important opportunities.
    In addition to reducing stress and burnout, such celebrations can improve patient satisfaction and staff engagement.
    One of the most highly productive physicians I have worked with uses this technique to his advantage, and consistently ranks in the 90th percentile on patient and staff satisfaction.


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