In medicine, when an ICU patient fails to get better after a week of intensive care, doing more of the same treatment proves futile and frequently harmful. Instead, it’s better to take a step back: reassess both the initial diagnosis and treatment plan. Doing so, doctors usually find that earlier assumptions were incorrect and that they’ve overlooked something vital.
This same notion applies to clinician burnout in medicine. Despite heightened awareness of this urgent issue and widespread calls for relief, the burnout crisis continues to escalate. After a decade of failing to solve the problem, it’s time for a diagnostic reevaluation.