One doc’s prescription for burnout? Hit the road

Doc burnout
Surgeon with arms crossed.

It took a road trip in a Tesla model S to reignite Jamin Brahmbhatt's passion for medicine.

Like many doctors starting their careers in medicine, the urologic surgeon was initially energized by getting to know his patients and helping them navigate through their care plans. It was red tape, regulations and the “nightmare of tracking electronic records” that led to his burnout, he wrote in STAT.

In June, he and his medical partner, Sijo Parekattil, M.D., also co-director of the Personalized Urology and Robotics Clinic in Clermont, Florida, drove across the country for the third annual Drive for Men’s Health to encourage men to go for regular checkups. His goal at the time was not personal, but the experience gave him a new appreciation for medicine and his own health.

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Brahmbhatt credited his medical partner with helping to restore his faith in medicine. “Physicians need to communicate and engage with each other if we are ever to see change,” he wrote. “Even in burnout, you aren’t alone. Engage your friends and colleagues into the conversation.”

Hitting the gym helps, too. While many doctors recommended physical exercise to their patients, they often don’t take their own advice. Brahmblhatt argued that working out can reduce stress—and working out on your own can allow your mind to rest and improve your mood. Plus, once fortified by a vigorous workout, physicians are in a much better position to take on the stresses they’re bound to face in the practice of medicine today.