Nov 16, 2021 • 40M

PI Podcast - Matrix of Clinician Distress Part 7 Conclusion

Matrix Recap and Key Take-Aways

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Critically relevant topics, real life stories and practical survival advice from physicians in the trenches negotiating the challenges of contemporary physicianhood. We focus on the burning issues facing physicians today and the challenges that they face in their careers as clinicians and healers.
Episode details
The amorphous matrix of clinician distress.

Here is Part 7, the last of our series exploring the Matrix of Clinician Distress.

We offer a somewhat expanded representative scenario and can more clearly discern its individual components. Lumping all of these component syndromes together under the designation “burnout” as has been routinely done through the present is obviously problematic. By not naming and addressing the component elements of a clinician’s distress and enabling appropriate approaches, these syndromes have been ignored. In essence, they’ve been painted over by the broad brush of “burnout.”

The Matrix Deconstructed

Not only do the component syndromes not get the professional attention they need, the clinician is led to believe that the generic stress management remedies applicable to burnout should suffice to make everything better. Of course, the implication is that if one doesn’t get full relief, then something must be wrong with the clinician or they're not utilizing the offered remedies, or the burnout is so severe that these broadly applicable remedies can’t work and thus the clinician must be mentally ill. Almost never has it been considered that the assumed diagnosis - burnout - might be erroneous.

I suggest that perhaps the burnout construct itself an inherently flawed and needs to be revised to give consideration to a wider understanding of what’s plaguing clinicians and making them so miserable that they’re leaving the profession.

We recap some key takeaways from the series and close with some action recommendations especially for coaches and therapists; organizational leaders; and clinicians who themselves are grappling with one or more of the component syndromes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the series and would welcome your comments and your sharing the series.

If I can be of help to you as you explore how best to approach clinicians’ distress, please let me know. You can send me an email directly from Substack. Or drop me a line at

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