How to diagnose physician resilience

Physicians with resilience have:

  • Increased career satisfaction
  • Higher personal life satisfaction
  • Enhanced performance and efficacy
  • Engagement with lifelong learning
  • Skills that may be modeled and directly transferable to patients (e.g., CBT)

Thankfully, resilience can be taught and developed.

Resiliency can be defined as “the capacity to adapt successfully in the presence of risk and adversity.”


Take this quick self diagnosis for burnout and resiliency:

Take a moment to write down where you think you are on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high) on these two measures. Note that burnout and resiliency are directly related and inversely related. Like any coin with two sides…

A self-diagnostic question is “How do you know if you are avoiding burnout behaviors?”

An organizational-diagnostic question is to ask your team if they have noticed you being less compassionate, hopeful and caring lately?

Or if you are daring, ask your team if they have noticed you being more abrupt, judgmental, or impatient lately?

(We are often hired to assess the degree of burnout or resiliency in a practice group.)

My experience is that these bullets are 5 reasons for you to do some work.  “Physician heal thyself” is axiomatic.   As a species, we need to make more anabolic choices than catabolic choices.

CBT is cognitive behavioral therapy, a psychological process that recognizes choice, personal strengths, and includes reqular behavioral feedback.

I hire a dentist when I need dental work; why wouldn’t you hire a psychologist when you need to develop resilience for your self or your team?