Meditation room: gimmick or solution?

Addressing burnout in the physician workforce

Paula S. Katz | September 22, 2015
physician meditation

Q: We have a meditation room. Is that going to prevent burnout?

A: While some healthcare organizations are beginning to recognize the problem of burnout, many are simply offering gimmicks: changing the food in the cafeteria, telling physicians to sleep and exercise more, or providing meditation rooms that no one will ever use.

What we need are structural changes. The clothing designer Eileen Fisher, for example, never holds a meeting on a Monday before 10 a.m. or on a Friday after 3 p.m. Chrysler Daimler embargos e-mail when you go on vacation knowing that we all dread coming back to bloated inboxes.

Health care has a long way to go. I’ve never attended a meeting where someone says, “This is the optimum census to maintain healthy work-life balance. Usually the discussions revolve around how to squeeze more RVUs out of providers.”

Response from David Frenz, MD, medical director for mental health and addiction care at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.


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