Their burnout symptoms improved, but it wasn’t necessarily the food that made the difference—it was support. “We have so many shared experiences and so many stressors that are in common, and yet physicians will often feel like, Well, I can’t talk to anybody about this,” West says. Bringing people together to share their experiences can help.
West believes there are other reasons the program worked: it was easy for people to join, since they had to eat anyway, and the hospital made meals free for study participants. “The individual needs to contribute something, and the organization needs to contribute something,” West says. That two-sided approach helps people feel supported and valued by their organization, which can go a long way toward easing some of the bitterness and cynicism that accompany burnout.
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