Dr. Arielle Kurzweil MD Adult Neurology Program Director New York University School of Medicine NYU Langone Health

Neurology Residents Learn to Identify Physician Burnout Through Simulation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Rebecca Stainman
Dr. Arielle Kurzweil MD
Adult Neurology Program Director
New York University School of Medicine
NYU Langone Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Physician burnout is prevalent. Neurologists have among the highest burnout rates, ranked third among specialties in a 2011 study, and over half of US Neurologists report at least 1 symptom of burnout in a 2016 survey.  Efforts to address burnout in training programs have mostly been aimed at implementing wellness curricula and offering mental health resources.

Training neurology residents to effectively identify, address, and help impaired colleagues is equally crucial in these efforts, yet there is a paucity of literature on this topic. We used simulation as a means of addressing this topic, via identifying and addressing an impaired colleague through an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: Residents found the simulation helpful and overwhelmingly agreed that it should be repeated for future trainees.  Anecdotally, residents have approached our Program Director, referencing the simulation’s take away points, when concerned about potentially impaired colleagues. If residents who are facing burnout and other related issues are identified and provided with appropriate care, they do continue their training to go on to become neurologists. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: There are many ways to achieve wellness at work, though equally important is to identify and address burnout quickly and appropriately. Simulation is a powerful tool that can be used to train residents to identify and address their impaired colleagues.  It is interactive, uniform, and allows for direct observation and feedback.  Residents find it helpful and use skills obtained from this method of education. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? 

Response: We encourage more utilization of simulation as a tool to train residents to identify burnout and understand the resources available to them.  This can be applied to fields other than Neurology and for physicians at varying levels of training. Simulation can similarly be used in other areas of interpersonal communication and professionalism in medicine and future research may target other similar topics.

No disclosures 


April 09, 2019; 92 (15 Supplement) MAY 8, 2019

Identifying and Addressing Impaired Co-Residents in the Era of Physician Burnout)
Rebecca Stainman, Ariane Lewis, Aaron Nelson, Perrin Pleninger, Arielle Kurzweil
First published April 17, 2017,


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Last Updated on May 17, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD