Have you ever been a part of a group where you felt the morale was low and you suspected everyone else felt the same way? On either a personal or global level, we have probably all experienced it at some point in time. If you are active on Twitter, you may perceive low morale among some physician groups, and even within the profession itself. Loss of morale is a reflection of loss of enthusiasm, and burnout is usually part of the equation. In a survey conducted by The Physicians Foundation's Survey of America's Physicians, they found that “54% of physicians rate their morale as somewhat or very negative and 49% said they often or always experience feelings of burnout.” Not surprisingly, one of the reasons they point to relates to clerical expectations and paperwork from regulatory bodies and clinical work. Low morale and loss of enthusiasm are a genuine concern in healthcare today. Physicians are feeling more dissatisfied, for both universal and individual reasons. Medicine is becoming more complex and transparent with technology and physicians are faced with less autonomy and mounting pressures.
When discussing burnout, we often hear about bringing back the “joy in medicine”. But what is this joy? If we have felt it, when was it? Do you still feel it at times? Was it based on a clinical scenario or a work environment? What this “joy” looks like for you is probably the first step in finding it again. Something to think about.