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Healthcare professionals usually choose their careers because patient care is meaningful; most want to make a positive impact and help others. However, with a broken healthcare system and unending occupational stressors, burnout is all-too-common, sometimes resulting in tragic consequences. Join Debbie for Part 1 of a rich two-part series with health psychologist Dr. Abbie Beacham, a clinical psychologist/trauma expert Dr. Kerry Makin-Byrd, and Dr. Bernard Chang, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University, on the wellbeing of healthcare providers. Part 1 is an exploration of issues related to healthcare professional wellbeing, both before and during the era of COVID-19.

Listen and Learn (Part 1):

  • About the occupational stressors and systemic factors in medicine that contribute to burnout.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on healthcare professional wellbeing.
  • Why mental health symptoms are higher among physicians than the general public.
  • The physical health impacts of working in medicine.
  • Why a multi-pronged approach to healthcare professional wellbeing is key. 

About Dr. Abbie Beacham:

Dr. Abbie Beacham Headshot
Dr. Abbie Beacham

Abbie Beacham, PhD is a Clinical Psychologist who has spent her career working in healthcare and medical settings. She has her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Louisville. Dr. Beacham also completed her internship in Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Florida Health Sciences Center and Post-doctoral Fellowship at the University of Kentucky Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry. Over the past four years she has worked extensively with physicians and other healthcare professionals across the Rocky Mountain Region addressing their stress, burnout and well-being.  As part of this work, she collaborated with colleagues to develop and implement evidence-based well-being programs for health professionals. Her most recent training “Cultivating Personal Resilience” has been presented to hundreds of professionals in both in-person and online formats. Dr. Beacham recently relocated from University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, CO to assume the position of Director of Behavioral Science at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry in Louisville, KY. She is co-founder of Project Well-Being where she continues to do presentations, trainings and online well-being programs to audiences large and small. A licensed psychologist in Colorado and Kentucky (provisional) she maintains a small private practice serving healthcare professionals via online consultation and therapy. In her spare time, she can be found hanging out with her family or pedaling her road bike (“Ruby”) among the birds, trees and streams in Kentucky and Colorado.  Her guilty pleasure is searching the world over for the best cup of coffee (medium-dark roast please).

About Dr. Kerry Makin-Byrd:

Dr. Kerry Makin-Byrd Headshot
Dr. Kerry Makin-Byrd

Dr. Kerry Makin-Byrd is a clinical psychologist on a mission to help professionals create deep, meaningful lives. She uses evidence-based therapy and coaching to foster resilience, mindfulness, and purpose-driven work.  Dr. Makin-Byrd received her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University, and subsequently received advanced training at the University of California San Francisco and Stanford University. She has held professional appointments at the National Center for PTSD and at New York University. She has served as a researcher and national subject matter expert on trauma and PTSD, and has authored over 30 peer-reviewed studies, Congressional reports, and clinical chapters on trauma and resilience. She received the Special Contribution Award from the Veterans Health Administration in recognition of the national impact of her policy contributions and clinical teaching on VA mental health services. Kerry is a founding board member of the Kids Compassion Project, volunteers with the Dumb Friends League, and enjoys hiking with her husband and daughter.  

About Dr. Bernard Chang:

Dr. Bernard Chang Headshot
Dr. Bernard Chang

Dr. Bernard Chang is Vice Chair of Research and an Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University.  A practicing emergency physician and psychologist, he studies mental health and neurologic emergencies. During the COVID crisis, he has been working clinically on the frontlines as an emergency physician, while also conducting ongoing research on the biobehavioral effects of COVID-19 on both patients and frontline workers. He received his PhD from Harvard in psychology, his MD from Stanford and completed his Emergency Medicine residency training at the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

Resources:

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