Reclaiming Joy to Fight Burnout

Amaryllis Sánchez Wohlever, MD | Florida

Hi there, my name is Amaryllis Sánchez Wohlever and I am a family physician. I am here today to encourage you. For many years I have been working in the areas of physician wellness, “burnout” prevention – burnout in quotation marks because it is so much more than burnout – leadership development and advocacy. I found that the more proactive I became, having gone through my own story of burnout years ago – seven years into my practice – despite loving my colleagues, loving my patients, and loving actually my work; just not necessarily the way it was happening. Having gone through my own journey to heal, to gain self-awareness and to understand more fully the factors I was bringing in from my own conditioning as a physician, from our training, but also from personality traits we have that actually might do well in certain settings in medicine but sometimes they can be a liability.  I gained a lot of self-awareness, knowledge and understanding. After taking a break from clinical medicine, when I returned to part-time medicine, which is what I chose at the time, I was a different person with new priorities and goals. That really made a significant difference.

Over the last 15 years, since all of that took place, my life really has taken off in a whole new direction. I wrote a book called “Recapturing Joy in Medicine,” which is the message that I bring to my colleagues; that there are ways to reconnect with our purpose, with those reasons that brought us to medicine in the first place. To the extent that we are able to recapture that, we really do start gaining a sense of meaning, purpose and joy in our lives as well. With this lingering pandemic, I know we all need encouragement; so please stay encouraged, stay connected, be proactive in all the ways that you are able, make sure you have mentors, make sure you have your go-to people – not only in your personal life, but also at your workplace. Who are those people that will advocate for you? Reach out to them, meet with them often, make sure they know your goals, make sure YOU know your goals and you’re moving in that direction. That can bring tremendous hope, even when things are difficult. Even when there is much that we cannot control on a day-to-day basis. As we regain control of aspects of it, in particular those aspects that will make things better for us in the long run, we develop a greater ability to cope with the things we are not very happy about at the moment. So, stay encouraged, stay connected, reach out to those people who can help you. Thank you for all you do for so many. Please take care of you. Again, I am Amaryllis Sánchez Wohlever and you can find me at Be well.

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