My Favorite Mistake — 213: Dr. Susan Landers on Medical Career Mistakes and Burnout in Healthcare

Episode page with video, transcript, and more

My guest for Episode #213 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Susan Landers, M.D., a retired neonatologist, author, & speaker. She practiced full-time in the NICU for over thirty years and wrote a book about her experience: So Many Babies: My Life Balancing a Busy Medical Career and Motherhood. Susan is an expert in physician burnout, breastfeeding medicine, & donor human milk banking. During her career, she published over thirty peer-reviewed papers.

In this episode, Susan shares her favorite mistake story about a career decision that she thought was a mistake for years… but things turned out fine. But how did she get disillusioned with working in healthcare and how did that lead to burnout? How can we recognize burnout in ourselves (and others) and how can we help? How can we take better care of ourselves?

Mark's new book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation

Questions and Topics:

  • What was it like to experience burnout?
  • When and how did this happen to you?
  • The symptoms of burnout?
  • Tired vs. burned out?? 
  • Is it generally true that others notice it before you?
  • Speaking up if you see this in a loved one: alienating themselves
  • Can you talk about how you recovered from burnout?
  • How prevalent is burnout in healthcare?
  • How much worse is it due to Covid?
  • Systems thinking — how often do leaders make the mistake of blaming people for getting burned out?
  • Read about the signs of physician burnout
  • Get a checklist for signs of burnout in working mothers

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