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207: Physician Burnout: Causes, Signs, & Solutions with Nisha Mehta, MD

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Though burnout is a topic garnering more and more attention, physicians are one professional group sometimes overlooked despite higher substance, alcohol abuse, and suicide rates. Today’s guest, Dr. Nisha Mehta, believes the answer to physician burnout lies in organizational and institutional changes within the healthcare industry.

In addition to being a radiologist, Dr. Nisha Mehta is an international speaker and writer specializing in physician advocacy and addressing physician burnout. She is the founder of two online physician community groups reaching more than 100,000 physicians and has had her work featured by outlets such as Forbes, CNN, and Bloomberg.

In this episode, Dr. Mehta discusses her decision to talk and write about physician burnout, the unseen stressors of physician life including the current focus on patient reviews, and the signs of burnout. She shares some personal experiences with physician burnout, including how she and her husband have avoided it, and missteps organizations make while attempting to address the problem.

Finally, Dr. Mehta gives a list of ideas for organizational and institutional change as well as a tangible tip for wellness professionals serving physicians.

Interview Highlights (with timestamps):
  • [6:35] Dr. Mehta’s decision to talk and write about physician burnout
  • [9:09] The unseen costs of being a physician that many don’t recognize
  • [17:01] The impact of patient reviews
  • [23:40] Signs of physician burnout
  • [27:04] Dr. Mehta’s personal experiences with physician burnout
  • [32:54] Missteps organizations make in addressing burnout
  • [35:35] Dr. Mehta’s ideas for combatting physician burnout
  • [42:48] Dr. Mehta’s tangible tip for wellness professionals talking to physicians
Mentioned in this episode:
Full Bio:

Dr. Mehta is a radiologist, keynote speaker, writer, and physician advocate.  Her missions include addressing the physician burnout epidemic through physician empowerment and cultural change in medicine, as well as increasing business and financial literacy amongst physicians in order to promote career longevity and career satisfaction. 

She is a strong proponent of creating physician communities to achieve these goals, with over 100k verified physician members in her online communities, Physician Side Gigs and Physician Community. Her work has been featured in numerous international media outlets, including Forbes, CNN, the Washington Post, Bloomberg, and PBS NewsHour, as well as several prominent physician focused outlets. 

She was named a 2020 Top Voice in Healthcare by LinkedIn, and has led grassroots physician efforts to fight for legislation on behalf of healthcare workers and patients. She lives and works in Charlotte, NC with her husband, who is a plastic surgeon, and her two sons.

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