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Heal burnout & moral injury by creating Radical Community

I spent the past several days in an off-the-grid cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains. There was stargazing, a clothing optional hot spring, an old growth forest, ranchlands to explore, delicious meals, evening board games, and family. Lots of family.

Taking the time to reconnect with my loved ones was nourishing. And at the same time after the first few days of honeymoon reconnection, rubbing shoulders and sharing space began to feel a bit uncomfortable. I confess, I experienced moments of irritation where I thought, “Why did we do this?!”

And honestly, that is the question that matters: Why?

Why is relationship worth pursuing despite discomfort and frustration?

For me, in this moment, it comes down to the need for community.

As I experienced over this past week, engaging in community with our loved ones (and with our teams or colleagues) can be an ugly, raw, and unrewarding process. But in healthcare organizations, as in our families, it is community that buoys us, nourishes us, and helps us connect with what is most meaningful to us as humans and healers.

And, ultimately, community provides a safe and healing (if imperfect) space for us to process through the emotional impacts of burnout and moral injury when we experience these harms.

Connecting with community is a commitment. It requires us to set boundaries, to experience vulnerability, and to sit in the discomfort of being in real and honest relationship with ourselves and each other. But the rewards sustain us over the long haul.

What’s new on Menders?

Are you ready for the Menders season finale?

I’m excited to bring back my conversation with David Kopacz, MD, as this popular episode encapsulates the spirit of Menders' exploration of leadership, love, and reorienting towards caring for our employees in healthcare!

  • How do we put care back in healthcare?

  • And, how do we stop taking advantage of clinicians’ professionalism?

These are just two of the essential questions raised by David in our conversation.

We’re all talking about well-being and how to address burnout more effectively. And if you’ve ever found yourself mired up to your eyeballs in self-care and still not making progress towards creating rejuvenation in your life, then this episode is a must-listen!

  • What’s different between technicians and healers

  • Why moral injury applies to both combat Veterans & healthcare providers

  • How burnout got its start as an organizational variable

  • Why doing more to care for ourselves and our teams is not always the answer to addressing burnout

  • Why community is the true solution to burnout in healthcare!

My favorite quotable moment from this episode!
“The antidote would be, how do we bring caring back in?”
(David Kopacz, Menders, episode 30)

David Kopacz, MD is a doctor, author, and artist. David inspires healthcare professionals to become medicine while engaging in our daily work and grabbling with challenges such as burnout, moral injury, and social alienation. His work brings together the full humanness of clinicians and the people we work to heal to create renewal within the healthcare system.

Stay Tuned! Menders season two will highlight women leaders in healthcare as they bring their unique perspectives to addressing challenges with employee burnout and cultural challenges. Keep an eye out for sneak peeks and video highlights from a truly inspiring group of women leaders. The new season of Menders will drop in January 2023!

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