A physician offers a prescription for overcoming burnout.
According to Khan (Unlocking the Natural-Born Leader’s Abilities, 2017), “workplace burnout is becoming a national epidemic,” and it has not yet been identified as “purely a medical or psychiatric illness.” The author’s antidote is a “self-care solution”; he offers intelligent, if at times repetitive, advice to diagnose and treat burnout. Khan begins with lyrics to a “Burnout Awareness Song” as well as “Burnout Self-Care Poetry,” both of which seem a bit odd, yet they immediately put the problem on a personal level. Of greater significance is the material concerning self-assessment in the first chapter; in addition to addressing how personality plays a role in the condition, the author includes a scoring tool that helps readers determine their burnout levels. Khan then presents some research regarding the condition followed by a discussion of workplace burnout. One of the more engaging and perhaps strongest aspects of the book is how the author relates burnout to the medical profession. He provides useful advice for primary care doctors about the diagnosis of burnout (again using a scoring tool), but he also adds a very personal element to the book by discussing his own professional experience with the condition. During his career as an attending physician and pulmonologist, Khan was under tremendous pressure as his responsibilities dramatically increased; he had “to learn how I did all that extra hard work with excellence without severe burnout.” His keen insights and observations of himself and others lend a particularly powerful element to this manual. Later, the author identifies what he believes are “eighteen phases of burnout,” describing each one and adding his recommendations for dealing with it—instructive, if somewhat overwhelming. It is the “Step-by-Step Self-Care Solution” that is likely to be the most pertinent portion of the volume. Here Khan gently but firmly walks readers through a series of steps to avoid burnout and treat it. He also talks about how to prevent future burnout and offers some helpful ways to reduce workplace stress in order to minimize the condition.
A lucid guide to burnout with valuable content for employees, employers, and medical professionals.