Mindfulness, Burnout, and Imposter Syndrome: A Conversation With Gail Gazelle, MD

Infection Control TodayInfection Control Today, January/February 2024 (Vol. 28 No. 1)
Volume 28
Issue 1

Dr. Gail Gazelle's "Mindful MD" addresses health care burnout with mindfulness, imposter syndrome, and other issues offering practical solutions and strategies for health care professionals.

Health care worker burnout is a growing concern in the health care industry, which often goes unnoticed. This crisis has the potential to undermine the very foundation of our health care system. While many blame the recent COVID-19 pandemic for this problem, it is important to recognize that the root causes of this crisis are deeper and more systemic. The issue is caused by relentless work schedules, overwhelming administrative burdens, and an intense and stressful working environment, among other factors. Urgent action is needed to address these issues and enable physicians to reclaim the joy in their practice and achieve a healthier work-life balance.

Gail Gazelle, MD, a well-respected coach and part-time assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has written a new book called Mindful MD: 6 Ways Mindfulness Restores Your Autonomy and Cures Healthcare Burnout that offers a fresh approach to addressing the burnout crisis in health care. With over a decade of experience as a Master Certified Coach and certified mindfulness teacher, Dr. Gazelle provides valuable insights gained from personally coaching more than 500 physicians.

Gazelle spoke with Infection Control Today® (ICT®) about her book, mindfulness, and imposter syndrome. In an enlightening interview, she speaks on burnout, having more resilience, and how everyone—not just physicians and other health care workers—overcome the little voice in our minds that says we aren’t good enough.

“The book, Mindful MD, is the synthesis of everything that I've learned about how to help health care professionals feel good and thrive in their careers,” Gazelle told ICT. “And, as you can see, by the title, it's about mindfulness. But it's not about sitting and meditating. It's really about what I've seen in terms of how we can become the master of the instrument that we all use, the human mind, rather than being its captive. And so what I tried to do in the book, which your listeners, by the way, can download a free chapter, what I try to do is walk the reader through very pragmatic approaches that can help them restore a sense of autonomy, which is something that many of us in health care have lost.”

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