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Ep. 31 Is moral injury the cause of physician burnout?

Wendy Dean, MD

Physician burnout has attained epidemic proportions.  It is highest among all professions and new research indicates that doctors commit suicide at a rate that is twice that of the general population, leading to a loss of approximately one physician per day.  And it’s not only doctors who are at risk.  Patients too may suffer the consequences, as medical errors have now been linked to the issue of physician depression and burnout.

The true causes of this epidemic remain hotly contested but our two distinguished guests have recently published a highly provocative essay whose thesis has resonated with many doctors.

Simon Talbot, MD

Wendy Dean is a psychiatrist who is senior vice-president of program operations at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine.  Simon Talbot is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School in the Brigham Hospital’s division of plastic surgery.


Wendy Dean, MD:  Twitter

Simon Talbot, MD: Professional profile


Wendy Dean and Simon Talbot.  Physicians aren’t ‘burning out.’  They’re suffering from moral injury.  (In STAT News, July 26, 2018)

Website: End Moral Injury


Watch the episode on our YouTube channel.


  1. […] healthcare system continues  to inflict “moral injury” on physicians, causing burnout, depression, or apathy.  And, built as it is on a mountain […]

  2. […] healthcare system continues to inflict “moral injury” on physicians, causing burnout, depression, or apathy. And, built as it is on a mountain of […]

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