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Symptoms of burnout
Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com


Knowing the concept and definition of burnout is one thing, but it is more important to understand and recognize the common symptoms.  Unfortunately, it may be easier to recognize these symptoms in observing others, and you may have witnessed some extreme examples in professors, colleagues, preceptors, or other medical professionals.  Although your burnout may manifest somewhat uniquely, here are the most common symptoms associated with burnout, according to THIS article from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Sadness
  • Anger or Irritability with patients and colleagues
  • Cynicism
  • Depersonalization
  • Lack of motivation
  • Decreased job satisfaction
  • Increased anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Substance use/abuse

Symptoms will differ among individuals, and it is critical to know how your symptoms of burnout may manifest.  It is also vital to recognize that symptoms typically develop slowly over time, often undetected until a critical threshold, such as seen in the fable of the frog in the boiling pot.  Much like the maladies that we diagnose and treat in our patients, emphasis on prevention and early detection is critical for the best outcomes.

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