The child neurology resident at NYU Langone spoke about ways for residents to identify and address impaired colleagues that suffer from depression and burnout.
By: Rebecca Stainman, MD
Published: August 22, 2019
“There’s already a national shortage of neurologists so this would only worsen that shortage and so it's even more important to be really aggressive in thinking about how to best train neurologists starting at the residency level to help identify it in their colleagues and ensure that their colleagues are getting the care that they need in order to then become future successful neurologists and have a long lasting career.”
At the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rebecca Stainman, MD, a child neurology resident at NYU Langone, gave a presentation on how to effectively train neurology residents to identify and help impaired colleagues that suffer from burnout.
Stainman and colleagues developed an objective structured clinical examination in a simulation center that focused on identifying and addressing an impaired colleague. Residents interacted with a standardized professional who played the role of a depressed co-resident abusing alcohol.
Residents reported feeling only mildly prepared for the examination (3.59 average, scale 1–5). Standardized professionals reported that most residents identified depressed feelings (70%) and provided clear information on resources (94%), however, there were several items that were rarely addressed like inquiring about drinking while working (6%), alcohol use (41%), alcohol abuse (12%), depressive symptoms (6%), and suicidal ideation (35%).
The simulation concluded that residents may benefit from observation and feedback on identifying and addressing impaired colleagues.
To speak further about the presentation, Stainman spoke with NeurologyLive in an interview at the meeting.
Stainman R, Lewis A, Nelson A, et al. Identifying and Addressing Impaired Co-Residents in the Era of Physician Burnout. Presented at: American Academy of Neurology 2019, Philadelphia, PA, May 4–10.