Guest speaker addresses physician burnout and the importance of wellness

Abraham Verghese, MD

Abraham Verghese, MD, the bestselling author of Cutting for Stone, joins the AAD Annual Meeting as this year’s Plenary guest speaker. Dr. Verghese will address a topic that is likely at the forefront of many physicians’ minds in his presentation “The Pathology Within: Burnout, Wellness, and the Search for Meaning in a Professional Life.”

Physician burnout and wellness is the new epidemic in health. By some estimates, 30% to 68% of physicians are experiencing symptoms of burnout, exceeding any other professional group. The ramifications of burnout include a 1 in 4 probability of the physician leaving their work situation in the ensuing three years, not to mention the risk of intemperate drug use or suicide.

Beginning with his non-fiction book, The Tennis Partner: A Doctor’s Story of Friendship and Loss, in which he chronicled these issues, Dr. Verghese has championed the issue of physician wellness. The Stanford WellMd program, of which he is a member, is a leader in the field, conducting research and a leading national symposium. In addition, Dr. Verghese directs the Stanford Center, Presence: The Art and Science of Human Connection. Physician wellness and the search for meaning in the profession is one of its three major research goals. Dr. Verghese uses personal narratives and scientific data on physician wellness to suggest a strategy for health care leaders to address this crisis in the profession and for individual physicians to renew their faith.

To read more about physician burnout, visit


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