According to an ASCO-sponsored study of burnout and career satisfaction among U.S. oncologists, 44.7% of surveyed oncologists reported feeling symptoms of burnout. ASCO offers information, practical advice, and member perspectives on how to prevent and manage burnout and prioritize wellness in your work and life.
Advice for Beating Burnout and Maintaining Wellness
First, it’s important to understand what burnout is and be able to recognize the hallmark symptoms. Burnout is not your fault as an individual, and feeling burned out is not a reflection of your strength, skills, or capability.
Then you can take steps to maintain your own well-being, in big ways and small ones:
- Acknowledge the emotional toll of working in oncology
- When you start to feel burned out, take steps
- Pursue creative and humanistic activities that you enjoy, including narrative oncology
- Set meaningful goals rather than chasing career milestones
- Use meditation and mindfulness techniques to manage stress
- Understand how your emotional quotient affects how you experience burnout
- Be a physician wellness champion on your team and pay attention to team wellness
- Practice resilience during training and during difficult professional times and consider undertaking resilience skills training with your team
- Consider the difference between resilience and stamina
- Start a conversation with a colleague or supervisor about burnout
- Change your attitude about stress
- Get your email inbox under control and manage Zoom fatigue
- Prioritize your well-being and make self-care a habit
- Be fully present with friends and loved ones
- Take a vacation (and don’t make it a working holiday)
Watch a video of ASCO members sharing their advice on how to avoid burnout and live a balanced life.
Personal Perspectives on Wellness and Burnout
Burnout can be isolating, and you may feel like you’re the only one struggling. But you’re in good company.
ASCO Connection bloggers share open and honest stories about their personal experiences and challenges with burnout:
- Opening up about burnout helps you, and those around you
- Learning to forgive yourself for being human
- Taking care of yourself so that you can care for others
- Finding fulfillment outside of your work
- In a disaster, recognizing the value in small acts of care
Finding that elusive work-life balance becomes even more complicated when you’re a parent. Read our bloggers’ perspectives on:
- The challenges of motherhood at different career stages
- Balancing parenthood and professional development
- How your child perceives your career
- Transitioning between work time and personal time
- Fatherhood during fellowship
- Drawing emotional strength from your family
- Letting go of parental guilt
- Accepting that family comes first
Bloggers reflect on how culture affects wellness:
ASCO Connection welcomes guest posts from ASCO members on all topics related to wellness and burnout. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how to contribute.