Difficult Conversations Podcast

Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician

Episode 130 | February 9, 2021

Second Victim Syndrome

Dr. Susan Wilson

Emergency Medicine Physician, Coach

Susan Wilson

Welcome to Difficult Conversations with Dr. Anthony Orsini. My special guest today is Dr. Susan Wilson. After 15 years of practicing Emergency Medicine, she retired from clinical practice, completed her coursework in coaching and formed SJW Professional Coaching Services, LLC with the goal of providing guidance and support to healthcare professionals. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Wilson has seen the evolution of medical practice, witnessing first-hand how the changes in healthcare have impacted her colleagues. She sees professional coaching as an important tool to addressing issues of burnout among healthcare providers. Dr. Wilson is particularly passionate about Second Victim Syndrome, an extremely important topic that most healthcare providers are not aware of but should know about.

Dr. Wilson talks about physician burnout and suicide rates, and discusses a JAMA article about the relationship between resiliency and burnout in physicians. Dr. Orsini and Dr. Wilson discuss Second Victim Syndrome (SVS), why it’s such a problem, and how it affects both providers and patients. We learn about the stages of grief that occur with SVS and the final stage which is moving on, in which people will either thrive, survive, or drop out. If someone needs help, Susan lets us know the best resources on how to get it. She talks about the staggering statistics of physician burnout and Second Victim Syndrome and how many healthcare professionals are actually seeking help. We find out how Susan coaches people through EAP on their journey of feeling better. Since Dr. Orsini and Susan both do a lot of coaching, they share why it is so important to them to help others. We end with Susan telling us the one conversation that is the most difficult and how she approaches it. Also, she gives advice on how to approach that person you care about that may need help, from either physician burnout or SVS If you enjoyed this podcast, please hit the subscribe button to find out more about what we do and how we teach communication. Go ahead and download this episode now!

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