Burning issue: Surgeon wellness occupies central role in ONLINE agenda

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As in the past few years, wellness and burnout—and how to mitigate them—remain topics of education and discussion at Society for Vascular Surgery meetings.

This year, with the world in the midst of a global pandemic, is no exception. The SVS Wellness Task Force will address the topics in two sessions of SVS ONLINE: “New Advances and Discoveries n Vascular Surgery.”

The first is a presentation during the William J. von Liebig Forum on June 20. “Predictors and sequela of burnout amongst practicing American vascular surgeons: A gender-based analysis,” will be held from 12:14 p.m. to 12:26 p.m. The entire forum runs from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. CDT.

The abstract follows up on a confidential survey conducted back in 2018. Lead author Laura Marie Drudi, MD, will highlight the existence of gender- based differences driving career dissatisfaction and burnout, as well as “the alarming rate of suicidal ideation amongst women,” as well as other issues affecting vascular surgeon wellness of across the spectrum of sexes.

The invited session entitled “Enhancing wellness in times of chaos” was proposed before the COVID-19 crisis hit but seems aptly titled for the times. And indeed, the pandemic is now on the agenda.

Wellness Task Force chair Dawn Coleman, MD, of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, will moderate the session, to be held from 7 to 8 p.m. CDT Wednesday, July 1.

Co-chair Malachi Sheahan III, MD, of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, will be a panelist during the discussion session at the end.

The topics include: “The role for surgical coaching to enhance wellness” by Jeffrey M. Smith, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in San Diego, California; “Institutional wellness initiatives” by Julie A. Freischlag, MD, CEO and dean at Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and “Government/policy challenges and initiatives” by Margaret C. Tracci, MD, of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.

The session will focus on expanded peer support and coaching, COVID-19 response, ongoing advocacy for SVS surgeons and possibly moving work forward into the areas of ergonomics and non-legal malpractice response.

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