The traditional approach to resident burnout at anesthesiology programs across the nation goes something like this. Well-intentioned efforts begin by following the ACGME guidelines to address burnout and wellness. For example, a mandated lecture takes place. Residents, feeling the time crunch, are unable to finish a case, start the next one, or simply go home. At some of these wellness meetings, the problem is framed as a personal failing – not a systems issue. A “one-size-fits-all’ approach is handed down to residents in a one-way communication style. Diagnosing exactly what is occurring is glazed over and never fully worked up.

Before we go any further, let me be clear that there is nothing inherently wrong with wellness programs. I wish to further the dialogue on how they are done. It is clear that there have been multiple coordinated efforts...

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