Mentorship as a Defense Against Physician Burnout

Rey Palmares
September 27, 2018

Mentorship is the process by which tenured practitioners pass on trade tips and strategies to the younger generation. Mentorship can help new doctors realize their career paths and expedite the learning process. But is that all it’s good for?

The profession of healthcare is not without its pitfalls, pitfalls, and challenges. The younger generation of practitioners must look to the more experienced veterans to guide them. This is where mentorship comes in. While many institutions have established programs that would streamline mentorships, many practitioners are still foreign to the concept.

New studies have shown that mentorship plays a vital role in keeping physician burnout at bay. Physician burnout is a real and emergent threat against the healthcare industry. While the concept encompasses all types of medical staff, it is worth remembering that doctors are just susceptible to workplace stressors. Paperwork, managing patients, schedules, administrative tasks and more can be daunting especially in life-or-death scenarios on a daily basis. In an article written by Dr. Plotzker, entitled How Mentors Can Help Young Doctors Prevent Burnout, she explains that most of the stress (which results to burnout) is caused by an uncertainty and demotivation. Mentors can help overcome this The best mentors are those that get you involved in the decision making process. Healthcare isn’t as simple as following a diagram or flowchart. Much of the work is finding out what actually needs to be done. Many mentorships provide for different strategies to go about it but a key similarity between all of them is communication.

They do not just give out information but rather allow their mentees to pick up on the answers themselves. They are more into facilitating discoveries rather than instructing labor. Great mentors understand that the primary objective is to allow their protege to be independently competent. They do not lead you to the answer but rather help you ask the right questions for you to find the answer on your own.


Writing should be one part informative and one part entertaining. It's what differentiates a generic piece of text from a well-written article. Rey Palmares dedicates much of his time to fine-tune that craft, juggling the joys and frustrations of writing with those of his law school life outside of the office. He's making it work so far.