OBHG OB/GYN Dr. Natour helps physicians struggling with burnout

By OBHG Marketing on July 14th, 2017

Ob Hospitalist Group's Dr. Nahille Natour recently shared her personal story of battling physician burnout with national healthcare industry news site Fierce Healthcare. 

The emotion in the delivery room was a mixture of fear and excitement—the feeling that something you’ve wanted is about to become a reality. The couple in the room was young and the woman was fully dilated. Labor was smooth so far and she had just begun pushing.

I was the physician in the room, and the only excitement I could muster was for the end of the delivery. I loved labor and delivery, but in that moment I wanted to be anywhere but there.

Clearly my feelings were a stark juxtaposition to the happiness in the room, and it was in that moment that I realized I needed a change. This was not who I thought I would become when I was an altruistic medical student. The constant stress and increasing bureaucratic demands were taking their toll. I was burned out.

Physician burnout is the result of prolonged stress with three major components: exhaustion, cynicism or disengagement, and a reduced sense of professional achievement. I was experiencing all three, and now I know I was not alone. According to an article published in the Mayo Proceedings, 54% of physicians show signs of burnout and that number had increased from 45% in just three years.

It wasn’t easy admitting that I needed help and I wasn’t sure where to turn, but I found a life coach who worked with other professional women who were in similar situations. With a great deal of introspection, it became clear that private practice no longer fit my needs.

I thought about leaving clinical medicine. It was a daunting option and giving up a steady income was unfathomable. I was still paying off medical school loans. I had come this far. How could I leave?