Skip to main content

Doctor Develops Cure for Burnout, Compassion Fatigue

In a breakthrough that could revolutionize medical practice, the University of Mumchester announced today that a new technique has been developed to prevent physician burnout. Dr. Elias Moore, Chair of Interventional Biophysics, described the new procedure, called “transient mirrectomy,” as a non-invasive method of numbing brain centers that may induce clinicians to identify with pain and suffering to a disabling degree.

“Basically, we direct a tightly-focused beam of non-ionizing radiation at locations in the supplementary motor area, as well as the premotor, primary somatosensory, and inferior parietal cortices,” said Dr. Moore. “Our objective is to desensitize, but not permanently damage, mirror neurons. We want to buzz those babies just enough to put them to sleep for a while.”

The mirrectomy technique utilizes stereotactically-directed microwave radiation of varying frequencies and intensities, depending on the effect desired.

Dr. Desiree Groat,
pre-treated
for a 36 hour shift
“To prepare for those weekends on call, where you might be awake forever seeing hundreds of patients, we turn up the juice a bit,” Dr. Moore said. “If it’s just another day at the clinic, a lower-intensity treatment is all you need.”

Asked about complications from the procedure, Dr. Moore replied, “Admittedly we’ve had some trouble with memory in treated individuals. The CME doesn’t stick like it used to. Plus word retention can be a problem. But look, when it comes to talking with patients, doctors are too quick on the trigger anyway. We feel the memory thing is a small price to pay for the huge increases in productivity we’re seeing. This could put a big dent in the primary care workforce problem.”

A startup company plans to offer the procedure, which is covered by most health plans, at the Medical Center for clinicians who want to undergo it. However, Dr. Moore, who owns the patent, foresees applications beyond the treatment of health care providers.

“Think about it,” he said. “Plaintiff’s attorneys, IRS auditors, members of Congress. The possibilities are endless. Excessive compassion is a problem all over the place.”

by: Brad Stuart MD

Comments

I heard they are going to open one of these in Kansas City. I can't wait.
Anonymous said…
Before the advent of advanced technology wasn't the traditional method to bang one's head against a nearby wall (or rock outcrop in the days prior to masonry)?
Ella said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Earl Quijada said…
I prefer a one-time high dose treatment. However, the neuro-physicists at my institution prefer weekly low dose therapy over 6 weeks. Scumbags.
Helen Chen said…
Hey Brad,
Your post made the April 1 edition of the AAHPM PC-FACS! (and that's no joke...)
Brad Stuart said…
Helen,

Yeah -- but I have major differences with the writer of that commentary.

Brad
Agustin Garrigos said…
When I first saw the blog, I briefly suspended disbelief and totally forgot that it was April first. I gotta tell you, I ws a little bit disappointed. But I am one of thsoe guys who love a good "gotcha".
Thank you for making my day go by faster and, at least for a few minutes, bringing a smile to my face.
LindaB said…
Ah, this is really a much better option that traditional treatments for burnout and compassion fatigue like alcohol, illicit drugs and headbanging, not to mention potty-mouth disorder. And covered by insurance, what could be better?
Eric Widera said…
My insurance said they wouldnt cover this. Something about a preexsisting condition
Alex Smith said…
Read this post. Thank you Eric for finding it - you're right, it made my day!
Wow what better way to experience what our early dementia patients experience, if we can remember??
Brad Stuart said…
Alex & Eric -- That post: amazing. My diagnosis: chronic irony deficiency.
Ald said…
This is very nice information i really inspired.
Thank you for post..

Popular posts from this blog

Dying without Dialysis

There is a terrific article in this weeks Journal of Pain and Symptom Management by Fliss Murtagh of King's College in London about the epidemiology of symptoms for patients with advanced renal failure who die without dialysis.  This study is important because while we know that patients with advanced renal failure have a limited life expectancy and the average age of initiation of hemodialysis is increasing, we know little about the alternatives to hemodialysis.  Specifically, we know nothing about symptoms affecting quality of life among patients who elect not to start dialysis (so called "conservative management" - is this the best label?).  This article provides a terrific counterpoint to the article in last years NEJM showing that nursing home residents who initiated hemodialysis tended to die and decline in function (see GeriPal write up here). 

The study authors followed patients with the most advanced form of chronic kidney disease (the new name for renal failu…

The Dangers of Fleet Enemas

The dangers of oral sodium phosphate preparations are fairly well known in the medical community. In 2006 the FDA issued it’s first warning that patients taking oral sodium phosphate preparations are at risk for potential for acute kidney injury. Two years later, over-the-counter preparations of these drugs were voluntarily withdrawn by the manufacturers.  Those agents still available by prescription were given black box warnings mainly due to acute phosphate nephropathy that can result in renal failure, especially in older adults. Despite all this talk of oral preparations, little was mentioned about a sodium phosphate preparation that is still available over-the-counter – the Fleet enema.

Why Oral Sodium Phosphate Preparations Are Dangerous 

Before we go into the risks of Fleet enemas, lets spend just a couple sentences on why oral sodium phosphate preparations carry significant risks. First, oral sodium phosphate preparations can cause significant fluid shifts within the colon …

Does “compassionate deception” have a place in palliative care?

by: Olivia Gamboa (@Liv_g_g)

There is broad consensus in the medical community that lying to patients is unethical.  However, in the care of patients with dementia, the moral clarity of this approach blurs.  In her recent New Yorker article, “The Memory House,”  Larissa MacFarquhar provides an excellent portrait of the common devices of artifice, omission and outright deception that are frequently deployed in the care of patients with dementia.  She furthermore explores the historical and ethical underpinnings of the various approaches used in disclosing (or not) information to patients living with dementia.

Ms. MacFarquhar introduces the idea of “compassionate deception,” or the concept that withholding truths, or even promoting outright falsehoods, is a reasonable and even ethical choice for those caring for patients with dementia.  To the extent that it helps a person with dementia feel happier and calmer, allowing them to believe in a gentler reality (one in which, say, their spo…