Local Time : 09:06 CET

PC 13b - Burnout of radiologists

Saturday, March 4, 08:30 - 10:00 Room: M 1 Session Type: Professional Challenges Session Topics: Management/Leadership, Professional Issues Moderator: M. G. M. Hunink (Rotterdam/NL) Add session to my schedule In your schedule (remove)


Chairman's introduction

M. G. M. Hunink; Rotterdam/NL

Learning Objectives

1. To learn about the silent epidemic of physician burnout.
2. To learn to recognise the symptoms of burnout.
3. To understand what factors contribute to burnout in radiologists.
4. To learn what preventive measures can be taken to prevent burnout in radiologists.
5. To understand what interventions work in treating burnout.


Do you feel more-and-more overwhelmed? Are you often physically and emotionally exhausted? Have you lost your passion and commitment? Are you not accomplishing what you could and should? Are you disillusioned with your job or career (or life in general)? Are you becoming cynical and emotionally detached? Insomnia, headaches, neck pain, GI upsets? You probably have burnout. If you recognise these signs in yourself, your colleagues or your employees, it is time to act. The cost of burnout is high: personally, to the department and to the hospital! Burnout among physicians is becoming an epidemic. Radiologists are particularly vulnerable to burnout due to a host of factors related to their work: declining income, limited interaction with patients and peers, severe time constraints, work overload, too many bureaucratic tasks, and too much computer work. About 50% of radiologists in the USA have at least one symptom of burnout. The percentage in Europe is unknown. Burnout has negative consequences for the individual and also for his/her practice and patients: it can have adverse effects on performance, professionalism, patient safety, relationships, personnel retention and patient satisfaction. Prevention is better than cure when it comes to burnout. Important preventive measures can and should be taken both at the personal and organisational level. Personal measures include mindfulness training, attention for work-life balance, and focusing on meaningful activities. Organisational measures include tracking and supporting physician well-being, monitoring physician burnout, implementing programs teaching personal preventive measures, leadership skills training and flexibility in work hours.


A personal story

M. F. Berger; Nottwil/CH

Learning Objectives

1. To learn to recognise the early symptoms of burnout in oneself.
2. To understand how life events and work stress in radiology contribute to burnout.
3. To appreciate the challenges in dealing with burnout.
4. To learn how mindfulness can help in prevention and treatment.
5. To appreciate the value of mindfulness in being a better radiologist.


In this talk I shall present my own experience with burnout from a first person point of view: early warning signs, failed attempts at self-help, sudden break-out of symptoms, medical workup, interventions and, finally, resolution and consequences. I shall also briefly touch on how I witnessed burnout in two colleagues of mine. Mindfulness played a major role in the recovery of all three of us. I shall describe my personal approach to mindfulness and explain how the practice can not only improve your resilience to stressful life events, both private and professional, but also how it may actually help you become a better radiologist.


Mindfulness-based interventions for burnout of physicians

A. Speckens; Nijmegen/NL

Learning Objectives

1. To appreciate the impact of the practice environment and the risk factors that lead to physician burnout.
2. To understand the impact of physician burnout on patient care.
3. To learn what we can do to prevent and treat physician burnout.
4. To learn what the research says about the effectiveness of mindfulness for burnout.
5. To appreciate what leaders can do to enhance the lives of staff and residents.


Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are increasingly applied in health care settings to reduce psychological distress in both patients with psychiatric disorders and those with somatic illnesses. Originally, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was offered to patients with recurrent depressive disorder to reduce relapse/recurrence. The current evidence suggests that MBCT might be at least as effective as antidepressant medication in preventing relapse/recurrence. Increasingly, MBIs are also offered to patients with other psychiatric disorders, such as somatoform disorders and ADHD. In addition, MBIs have demonstrated to be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with chronic somatic conditions, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis. MBIs have not only been applied in clinical populations, but also in health care professionals. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has been shown to reduce burnout and improve psychological well-being and empathy in medical students, residents, general practitioners and consultants. In this presentation, recent findings of two randomised controlled trials in 167 medical students and in 148 residents from different medical specialities will be presented. In addition, the results from two pilot studies in 50 general practitioners and 52 medical consultants will be discussed.


Interventions to prevent and treat burnout

B. Trück; Brussels/BE

Learning Objectives

1. To learn what interventions are available to prevent and treat burnout.
2. To experience what mindfulness/meditation can do for you.
3. To appreciate that attention to the present moment enhances feelings of happiness.
4. To appreciate that mindfulness enhances focus in all activities.


Mindful awareness is about learning to pay attention. It is like training a muscle - training attention to be where you want it to be. This reduces our tendency to work on autopilot, allowing us to us choose how we respond and react in stressful situations. Mindfulness is cultivated in a variety of ways. This includes sitting down (on a chair) and observing your thoughts, emotions or your breath. But mindfulness can also be developed by simply focusing on the task at hand whether you are at work in a meeting or at home cooking a meal. In this talk we will be discussing what it means to be most of the time on autopilot and how this can lead to symptoms of stress and burnout. I will give a practical insight into how mindfulness helps to step out of the autopilot. We will be practising some short mindfulness meditations and share our experiences. We will also be talking about how one can be more mindful in daily life and how short moments of stopping and becoming aware can bring about a great change. I will present some concrete tips of how to integrate mindfulness in your daily life without much additional time.

Panel discussion and discussion with the audience

no recording

(no abstract)

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