I started my career as a boarded EM physician and entered a second career as a somatic trauma therapist.
I’ve been involved in physician self-care for over a decade. Having over two decades of emergency medicine practice as well as many years of treating severe PTSD has allowed for a rich cross-fertilization of knowledge and experience.
For me, the body and nervous system are the foundations of addressing burnout. Once they are disturbed and we are in survival physiology, it becomes more and more difficult to address symptoms of burnout. By learning to track our nervous system and move from survival physiology into resting a d regenerative states, we are far better equipped to deal with the many corrosive mental, emotional and physical aspects of burnout that are driven by affected subcortical structures.
From a calm and resourced place, we can address most of the issues affected by burnout, trauma and overwhelming stress – from morale, to quality of relationships, to sexuality, to work performance – in a far more effective manner.
Addressing burnout requires change in leadership and systems. But if we are to address just one aspect over which we have control, nervous system health is by far the most important, and this needs to be accomplished in a mindful and embodied manner.