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Professional longevity; Circumvent burnout

Erik Anderson DDS


OBJECTIVES 1. Define burnout in dentistry. 2. Discuss relevancy and self assessment. 3. Provide strategies to circumvent burnout.



  • November 1, 2019
    2:00 PM
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Good afternoon everyone has a volume is volume good everyone can hear me the back perfect good we're a quaint group and. Carlos always makes me feel good he's got a knack for building people up and. Yeah you got this. But it's my privilege it's my honor to be here today and I just feel so blessed you know with the content we've heard so far it's it's inspiring you know in the Bible. The tone of the Bible is that you know what we fill our mind with you know we become and in so many ways maybe in more subconscious ways we walk away. From a convention like this blessed and you might not even realize all the blessings until he might have a fleeting thought 2 weeks later or even words that come out your mouth and you thought where did that come from it came maybe from a quote or a concept or an idea shared it it Amen so my my topic today is burnout and in fact if this topic is really exciting to you there's be a doubleheader Nellie I think at the next hour is presenting on on burnout so you get a double helping if you want I do have to make a disclaimer and that is any post lunch tiredness that I observe. We're going to have to stand up and maybe do 1015 seconds of blood flow Ok You know my fair author says that perfect health depends upon perfect circulation so yeah Number 2 thank you so. This topic is so pertinent because we are. In the field the health field that is like on a travel that's for speed can we all relate to that we're on a full speed treadmill whether you've been in the clear for a year 20 years 30 years it's full speed. And we've all have glimpses. Of the exhaustion that can occur with this. And. The good thing about burnout is it's 2 things it's a it's a warning and it's an opportunity with burnout it's a warning and an opportunity Ok So before we go any further let me just let me just offer a prayer and pray that God lead us in this discussion that we can be touched and hopefully we can glean a prole of truth from the Bible or from the penitent spiration that can really have an application in our life. Heavenly Father thank You for the great book Thank You for Jesus and his example thank you that we can be here to men in and fellowship and collaborate and compare what's working and what's not in the Lord be the here now is only a brief fleeting moment but eternity is forever help us to keep that in perspective Jesus' name we pray Amen. So with burn out my question is are you taking care of your health you know dentistry is amazing but like I said it's like being on. A treadmill full speed and have had multiple conversations already with dentists. Who are still early in their career and they experience this this exhaustion that can occur and so we're going to talk a lot about that today in you know what's amazing about this topic and what I meant about today is there's just a high relationship between the phone that you have and maybe the burnout you experience there's things that we need to find as far as plugging in and charging up so we're going to we're going to deal with this so what if what if someone or myself could just hover around you for a day in your practice. What would we find would we find a sustainable work life if I said you're going to be doing this for the next 80 years with this put you in tears. Or would you think no problem this is this is easy this is sustainable I could do this every day to the day I die. Or are you experiencing symptoms of burnout are you ready to retire tomorrow and I'll tell you what I've had those thoughts I'll share my story a little bit but I have multiple practices and I have 4 young children and so I have tasted this exhaustion that comes in when I'm going to be sharing with you today is kind of my testimony. In a daughter my secret sauce for circumventing her now. And I already know I'm looking at the audience right now I see a bunch of of dynamic charismatic goal oriented determined idealistic dentists I just know it and that very subcategory of people are high risk for burnout. It's the lowered she versus the ones that just don't care that just to show up 20 minutes later that hardly raises their heartbeat those are the ones that are low risk for burnout so I know I know I just look at the group I know about half of you and I know just just beholding look at the faces this is a high risk group so it's important that we talk about this get on the table and hopefully make some observations and make some application. But again we got to keep perspective why are we here why are we here on earth why are we here at a men and why are we right here in this session right now. You know we're part of a movement and that movement in this is so beautiful right now I'm so thankful for the camaraderie and the fellowship we have this is what fuels me I'd say at least for a month following a minute I just kind of ride this Amen way for at least a month after month it kind of. Fizzles out and forget about it but this next month I'm just me riding the wave and it's just absolutely amazing so here we are here now versus eternity Let's get our mindset wrapped around we're in the here and now but we need to contemplate the attorney. God is in doubt us with a certain amount of vital force right here in the frontal lobe the seat of spirituality morality and the will. And what says if we carefully preserve the life force and keep delicate mechanism of the body in order you know the 1st love of Heaven is his order. And you know what it says The result is health and heaven is all health. But if the vital force is too rapidly exhausted the nervous system goes into debt and burnout ensues. So here's my agenda for today I want to talk a little about my story. I want to talk about what burnout is why it matters. A quick self assessment I want you guys to have a little reality check want to be honest with yourself. Oftentimes we're too busy to have to take our own reality check to take our own polls were especially the bulk of our time on strategies I want to spend a little bit of time on the problem in the book the time on the strategies just enough time on the problem just say to give yourself time to see where you're at. So here's my story. For dental practices for kids all for God. So my wife and I met at Loma Linda. And I was a dental student she was working for the school nurse team and just for sake of time. I'll just say we met Dre son which is a whole nother story was a. Is that I was exercising in my workout buddies never showed and I saw her so I did a couple more pull ups you know the guys get it you know get that. Expansion courage in your arms and I approached her but he ways we got married she's the most amazing woman and. We left we were in outside of Seattle Washington and we felt the call of country living we knew we wanted to raise a family and so we moved to rural Tennessee one thing us town someone up here I just never envision in my life that would move away from the West Coast but I'm so thankful that. That doesn't control and I'm so thankful that he led me to the self one thing led to another in my wife and I had 4 children and they they are. There were a young family we have a 2 year old a 4 year old a 7 year old and a 9 year old and in this process of having these children with my one we're at practice I started. Kind of. Capturing the. The feel for management and kind of what it took and I guess what I'm good at is I really felt comfortable the relationships I was building with my patients and with my staff and so in this process you know I cut down to 3 days a week and that's what I blame for opening up a 2nd practice I cut down to 3 days a week and almost all of us and I felt so rested I speak with Jake about this that. There's a there's a consultant out there Bill Blatchford and he recommends working 3 days a week and taking somewhere between $6.00 and $8.00 weeks off a year he's a dentist and his clients are performing he just looks at the financial component and he also looks at just quality of life in those 2 categories his clients outperform the ones that do the conventional 4 days a week 2 weeks off a year. So I didn't pay him as a manager but I knew his approach I tried it and so I worked 3 days a week and what I found as I was refreshing and all this energy and more time spent with my family and for good or for bad I started looking for another opportunity because I had so much. Business. Thrust and that's when I bought a 2nd practice and. You know never 1st saw this but I and then they are. You get Roland here. I then started a 3rd practice from scratch. And I'm on the verge of opening a 4th location in about 6 months so. I have about 17 employees I have 2 associates one exciting thing about my my system right now is I just hired a man to be kind of a part time ministerial position in my office so his sole responsibility is Ministry. And so you know I took to heart the Council of physicians and ministers working hand in hand together but I was so busy on this treadmill that it just wasn't reality and so I joined forces with this man and he's helping me put on monthly health outreach programs where we're taking surveys we're meeting the needs of the community and we're doing once a month outreach for the community. This year mark to record I offered for free days you know a lot Melinda we had clinic with heart so I had my version of 4 days of clinic with a heart so we were. Blessed to give away thousands of dollars over 4 days of dental care throughout the year and. You know. Through all this with the 4 children and more so just a practice of these people is that there were times when there was severe stress and probably the pinnacle of my stress was when they when I just bought my 1st associate and I had a shoulder injury and I really wasn't practicing for about a month month and a half and I was paying my so she it wasn't full time credentialed and it was just a huge leak in the financial structure my business and because of my shoulder injury I was sleeping on average about a month about an hour and a half each night there's about 5 nights total I just did not sleep at all. And this was a point my life and I just read to sell everything and walk away I was just a motion only exhausted and I pushed my wife one morning and I said Do you notice any difference for me because I look at I looked in the mirror and I thought you know I look kind of the same from my get any sleep at all and she said she's so sweet she's loving those into my wife and she said in such a loving way she's like you are such a different person. So I knew that the rest factor in the stress was changing who I was and I wasn't I wasn't fully aware of it but I was changing as a person. So it scared me Here's Tennessee it's sprawling ceaseless rolling hills it's so beautiful it's so humble and this is a very common site. And here is my sacred circle my wife Sherry who just walked in with my 2 oldest daughters. But I come from the tribe of Anderson. I have my wife Sherry and my oldest found Tina Giovanni a Carmelo Emmanuel in telling someone you know we're just talking here front that this is my 1st mission field my family's my 1st mission field. And I was just kind of joking last night at the meeting and I said you know I do a lot of dentistry on the side at least that's what my mind tells me so I really want I really want to focus on my 1st mission field and that is. Myself and my family and then extends to my staff that extends to my patients and then my neighbors and you know it's such it's a circle that starts with the where I live and who I spend the most time with and actually who's not just pictures my mother locks she now lives with us so really she should be in this picture too so we're quite a crew there 7 of us. But you know I wanted to show this picture because one thing that I struggle with is temperance So I find something that's good I don't start with bad things you know my kid you know going to find me picking up a bad habit but I'll find something that's good and not just push it to the extreme and that's why I that's where my shoulder was actually. I stopped on some weight to my waist to add more weight and as I was pulling that weight up after so many wraps I heard something kind of clicked in my shoulder and so it's been a way out of my life is that most of my ailments and struggles have been with being intemperate with that that which is good it's a real struggle for me because I'm I find something it's that o.c.d. in me that just wants discussion is how can you relate. It's a challenge in my life so. Story after story of foolish intemperance and. It would be more embarrassing to my fail if I shared all of them but let's get to the statistics about burnout in the 1950 s. the mid 20th century the term burnout often referred to a rocket engine that had run out of fuel and crashed in the 1970 s. researchers were applying the term to people who had run out of fuel in their career maybe just in the scientific research well but then later decide call just Herbert freedom Burke was working with volunteer volunteers and Addiction Recovery Center can you imagine volunteering your time to help people get over their addictions can you think of. I mean can you think of being more emotionally challenged in volunteer time help people get over their addictions in the challenge that would be. So these volunteers were just like us they had high ideals lofty goals they who they were professional with. You know just pie in the sky dreams of how things how they could change the world and they were high risk for burnout. You know burnout. Will sneak up on you. Here's a quote burnout is the sum total of the hundreds and thousands of tiny betrayals of purpose each one so minute that it hardly tracks notice now these thousands of tiny betrayals of purpose I've thought about a lot and I somehow think that there's a correlation between this and something called decision fatigue as in when I heard that term before decision fatigue I read a really interesting article online that talked about even the decisions when you get on your phone and choosing which app to look on will start taking away decision ability in your storehouse So let's say you make 20 decisions in the 1st 2 hours of your day as far as which apps to look out that you've already taken away from the storehouse of your decision making ability that they did a study prisoners who appeared early morning receive parole about 70 percent of the time. While those appeared late in the day were paroled less than 10 percent of the time decision fatigue think about it. Have you noticed the way you diagnose might might differ in the morning from the afternoon maybe you see a broken tooth or part of the marginal Ridge broken off in the morning it could be a crown or Nemo and maybe the afternoon it's the other way it's just amazing and there's something going on in our brain decision fatigue. Where you can dictate the patient's outcome. So no matter how rational or sensible you are you simply can't make decision after decision after decision without pain a mental price which is completely unlike physical to physical fatigue when you get physically fatigued what happens I've had enough you just sit down right he stop and this is so evident with children right. Children when they get physically tired. They can actually express it Daddy I'm tired I'm tired of walking they can express it they can verbalize it communicate it to me children have said Daddy I'm so emotional exhausted can't function but what happens is they just have a meltdown any parent knows the emotional meltdown. Burn occurs when your body and mind can no longer keep up with the tasks you demand of them it's the proverbial last bit of straw or feather. So let me read a short story about Sonia this is in my We're still in the section of kind of defining what burnout is Sonia highly regarded can you specialise who prides herself on passion for her work in her 24 years as a physician her patients and their families have always been quick to point out her compassionate care and attention to detail. That's all of us coming out of school she not only puts in extra time tending to patients as they come in but also in following up with them after just discharge her colleagues left her 2 and she's well respected by nurses other physicians and administrative staff at her Arizona hospital on the outside the 53 year old is a shining example of the perfect medical specialist but what her patients and colleagues and even Sonia herself don't realize is that she's falling apart for many years Sonia look forward to work as she woke up each morning and got ready for the day her interactions with her patients were powerful fuel that drove her dedication and ambition but lately Sonia has found herself gripped by a terrible feeling of dread it starts on Sunday nights the Sunday night blues as she anticipates going to work she feels she feels the exam. In an overwhelming by Monday morning she's able to grab her teeth and knuckle her way through the week but as the hours of each day progression begins to exhibit physical manifestations of her inner stress within moments of interacting with her patients she suddenly she suddenly battling an upset stomach a sore throat and she's surprised by the urge to slip outdoors and run away from the hospital into the parking lot. Connected with patients which used to come naturally has become exasperating Sony's interaction at work and then later at home leave her feeling drained even the act of making minor in significant decisions to talk about decision fatigue is distressing. And she criticizes herself for losing her edge Sonia begins reflecting on her situation in earnest she knows something has to change. But she isn't sure what she doesn't know it just yet but she's in the throes of burnout so here's some bottom line statistics and this is this research is done mostly with physicians I think there's a high correlation with with arse with our line of work I think we have a slight edge because maybe most of us have stronger influences on the management and the rules of our practices we can kind of recreate kind of the laws and the policies of our practice but greater than 42 percent of physicians. Express Burnham and within that category it's marked is emotional exhaustion. The highest risk group is age 45 to $54.00 and that cost just in the u.s. is $4000000000.00. And only surprisingly 9 percent of physicians seek help so that 91 percent just kind of bury it. They bury them. Does anyone know which specialty medicine has the highest level of burnout Can anyone guess. In neuro not neuro. That any of the us. O.b. That's right o.b. g.y.n.. Have a couple ideas why that might be in bed how many physicians commit suicide every year. 400. The suicide rate for female physicians is 2 and a half to 4 times higher than the general population that's higher than the male practitioner rate to do we have a need vantages over a medical doctor friends and family in our in our burnout statistics I think so but we're still high risk does anyone here know a dentist who has taken their life. I do. So when I want to Loma Linda. You're ahead of me. So it's real and as when I challenge you to. Get ahead of the game don't don't react to something like this don't wake up one day like Sony and say I'm burnt out. So there's good news studies suggest that early career burnout doesn't seem to lead to any significant negative long term consequences as long as it's handled don't let it linger address it and see it as an opportunity. So why does burnout matter because it has a ripple effect Ok. Physicians' expensive burnout a twice as likely to be associated with a lower quality of care for their patients these physicians are 3 times more likely to be rated poorly by patients brought out of the medical provider has a ripple effect throughout the entire team your family and everyone you have a connection with it's not just isolated to your little professional position and most importantly if you're burnt out you can't be a light. Can you be a representative of our church can you be a representative Christ if you're burnt out if you have nothing in you you have no energy you have no light no enthusiasm no desire to share our present truth message. So suffer assessment let me ask you some questions. Just keep track of how many times you say yes do you ever meet your patients with cynicism or callousness and this do you find yourself constantly tired. Do you feel recurring sadness your to build your loss of interest do you feel anxious or avoid certain situations or people do you dread or feel reluctant to go to work are you short with patients family or friends. Do you have trouble falling asleep or waking up and not feeling refreshed. Are you binge eating or eating junk Have you stopped exercising. Ok. I think it's normal to have some yeses in there so don't feel bad if you have some yeses if you have multiple multiple Yes As you know. Consider that may be a flag that you. You may be in the throes of burnout. But there's good news it's an opportunity something needs to change. Our Heavenly Father has a 1000 ways to provide for us of which we know nothing those who accept the one principle of making the service of God supreme will find perplexities vanish in a plain path before their feet we've identified our problems but we're now going to spend the rest of our time focusing on solutions I love that we serve a God of solutions and is not draining when around people and all they tend to focus on our problems. We all know those people in God's calling us to be the bearer of solutions and I don't want to overweight or run away from problems I want to meet them head on but let's do well on the solutions so here's what I'm going to talk on it's not limit to this but this is my secret sauce. This is kind of my testimony this is where I found the most rejuvenation in my effort to curb burnout so Bender ease. Time in nature Delegation is a powerful one. We're going on the Bible in that one exercise and obviously Christ in you Christ in you is infused with all these these topics right now but essentially all these themes are forms of rest right these are all forms of rest there are ways of resting in our Spirit resting in our health resting our spiritual lives in a higher power. You know rest. But also called spiritual vibrancy is a strong antidote to burnout so let's get into this band Rees. The Bible says keep the heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life this is the counsel of the wise men and we need to guard the avenues of our soul and we need to set boundaries we need to firmly say No I'm sorry I'd love to but I just can't do that I'm sorry that's a great idea I just. I have this in this to do. You know you've had this experience you're a health professional you might even be a leader in your local church people come to you for everything and if you accept everything. You're going to fizzle out and I've come to this conclusion more and more in the last year or 2 where I've just had to really redefine in re prioritize and embrace my responsibility 1st and foremost as my relationship with God and then my family and then it kind of ripples out from their. Schedule and that's a big component of my life it's a big component of my wife's life is she is the. We do home school and she's the. The teacher at home and we believe firmly in a schedule and a schedule so beautiful because it pushes things out that we don't want to intrude in the time with the most important things we need to do so schedule is all about Pandarus drawing a line in the sand and saying this cannot encroach upon this time this cannot encroach upon my personal devotional time this cannot encroach upon family worship or my exercise time or whatever. Component that you have for keeping your sanity from burned out. So the right has. A comment about physicians facing fatigue spiritual loss from fatigue Spicher loss from fatigue there are those who can successfully carry a certain amount of work but who become over wearied fractious and impatient when there is crowded upon them a larger amount of work than they have physical or mental strength to perform. Though they lose the love of God out of the heart and then they lose courage and faith and the blessing of God is not with them. They're physicians who have lost their spiritual power because they have done double Roque. That they have that they ought to have done when men are asked or tempted to take more work than they can do let them say firmly. I cannot consent to do this. I cannot safely do more than I am doing is that comforting draw the lines that a boundary. I love it because you know we come here day men and we're inspired in a lot of messages you know ad this ad that ad this. For me is so encouraging and I want to add those things and I go home and I get on this treadmill and it's so hard sometimes to add more to the maximum speed of the treadmill I mean there's just physically you just you just can't you can't create more time you can't create more energy so I love this council by all white because when you draw the line you know it's Ok to say no and how many of you. Crowd your work schedule real tight. I do I pack it a packet Ok And you know actually going through this presentation you know we need to be mindful we schedule even though we have good intentions to do this or do that if we pack it so tightly there's no chance there's no chance. How about this. As you want to heard of someone taking a sabbatical. I have a friend he's he attends the local neighboring church and he worked in the hospital setting for years he's in his ninety's he's a man of much wisdom. And I approached him and I said How did you purser your sanity in your career after the many years of working in the hospital and he looked at me and he said it was stressful and I said Well tell me about the most stressful years of your career and he told me and I said Well how did you solve that he said well I took a sabbatical I said what. He took a 3 month sabbatical from his work he left that location he went somewhere else and did something else you know did something else. And I said did that solve it he said Absolutely so that's amazing. How many Dennis could benefit from a 3 month sabbatical That's right I overhead should go out I mean let's be real dentistry is beautiful it's wonderful we help a lot of people but it is so taxing. In the broad picture books and profits no one talks about a sabbatical she says all enjoyed greater leisure which afforded opportunity for the restoration of their physical powers for the exertions of the following years they had more time for meditation and prayer for Queen themselves with the teachings and requirements of the Lord and for the instruction of their households. Going to tell you a quote by Socrates. He said be where the Baroness of a busy life. Be where of the bareness of a busy life in other words don't think that a busy life is going to give you satisfaction or happiness beware of being so busy that you miss out on everything set boundaries. He talked about Bill Blass for someone to skip over that but that's the dental consultant that would make a perfect Adventist because he's all about rest understands the concept of work and rest work rest work rest. Another way to set boundaries a 2nd goals and this might be goals outside of the office. A person in burnout has stops any meaningful goals and is consistently working to improve has a when you're standing goals recently outside of dentistry maybe a fitness goal maybe a reading goal maybe a language call maybe a hobby maybe getting to know a family member better. You know you could set a goal of things you want to do the next 6 months and then you can set a goal of of growth areas of growth that you want to mature in. This media was blocked by. A website dedicated to spreading God's word. And audio and much more if you would like.


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