Statistics reveal that burnout has become a serious issue in the healthcare profession. Recent studies have reported that more than half of all doctors report symptoms of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and feelings of inadequacy. The pressures that healthcare professionals face are indisputable. Mindfulness has the potential to ease this stress.
A 2017 report published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine showed results from 115 different studies and discovered that mindfulness improved physician-patient communication, improved quality of care and enhanced physicians’ empathy. Mindfulness creates a space between stimulus and response. It is in this space that health care providers have the opportunity to replace impulsive reactions with thoughtful responses. As physician Ronald Epstein at the University of Rochester Medical Center shares, “Mindfulness enables doctors to listen to a patient without judging, to be present, responding to what the patient is saying and feeling and also aware of what they’re feeling.”