Loyola pathologist receives national award for initiative to prevent physician burnout

MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine pathologist Marisa Saint Martin, MD, ACC, has received an award from the American Association for Physician Leadership for an initiative to help prevent burnout in young doctors.

Dr. Saint Martin, an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, received the prestigious Roger Schenke Award during the association’s annual spring summit in Washington, D.C.

Burnout is characterized by exhaustion (physical, mental and/or emotional), cynicism and lack personal accomplishment. Studies suggest that more than 50 percent of U.S. physicians experience symptoms of burnout. Burnout increases the rate of medical errors, malpractice risk and turnover, and adversely affects patient satisfaction and physician quality of life.

Dr. Saint Martin led a wellness program and ACGME-compliant curriculum at Loyola to help prevent burnout among pathology residents. The initiative incorporated burnout-prevention methods developed by the financial industry. These include monthly wellness talks and education about resources available through the Loyola Medicine Resilience Team.

The resources include free sessions with resilience coaches; access to psychological help and the employee assistance program; chaplain services; volunteering and networking opportunities; and fitness center discounts. Wellness talk topics include physical, mental and spiritual wellness; suicide prevention awareness; communication and goal-setting skills; and mindfulness.

A study of the program demonstrated that wellness and resilience can be taught.

“Our ultimate goals are to increase wellness among pathology residents, prepare them for a high-stress environment and incorporate the wellness tools they have learned into their new workplaces,” Dr. Saint Martin said.

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The American Association for Physician Leadership is the only professional organization dedicated to providing education, career support and advocacy to physician leaders. The Roger Schenke Award is named after the association’s founder.

Media Contact
Jim Ritter
jritter@lumc.edu

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