Habitual Excellence — 77: Understanding Moral Injury in Healthcare with Wendy Dean, MD

Psychiatrist, expert on “moral injury” in healthcare, author

Welcome to Episode #77 of Habitual Excellence, presented by Value Capture.

Episode page with transcript, video, links, and more

Our guest today isWendy Dean, MD, a psychiatrist. She is the President and co-founder of “Moral Injury of Healthcare,” a nonprofit organization focused on alleviating workforce distress.

A seminal article she co-authored with Simon Talbot, MD for STATNews in July of 2018 began the conversation about moral injury in healthcare.

She’s the co-author of the upcoming book If I Betray These Words: Moral Injury in Medicine and Why It’s So Hard for Clinicians to Put Patients First. It will be available April 4th and you can pre-order it now through the publisher.

In today’s episode, Dr. Dean talks with host Mark Graban, about topics and questions, including:

  • What is “moral injury”?

Definition 1: “perpetrating, failing to prevent, bearing witness to, or learning about acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations.”

Definition 2: “a deep soul wound that pierces a person’s identity, sense of morality, and relationship to society.”

  • Why is moral injury different (and worse) than “burnout”?
  • What’s the effect of moral injury?
  • Can anything be done to reverse moral injury and its effects? Or just need to stop injuring others?
  • What are some of the primary causes of moral injury in healthcare?
  • How is the healthcare system broken?
  • Recommendations related to EMR/EHR?
  • Getting rid of “the stupid stuff”
  • The role of psychological safety in creating an enabling environment…
  • Why did you stop practicing as a psychiatrist?
  • What’s the Level of moral injury in countries like Canada or England that have very different healthcare systems?
  • What reforms do you recommend? With urgency…
  • A “Clinician Protection Act”?

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