|I was amazed. I thought you were talking about me! After 14 years I have seen just about everything medical. I still get “pumped” when critical care cases come in, when there is a demand on my skills both clinical and procedural. The “bread and butter” stuff was not exciting anymore, it felt like a grind, worse, like you, I was seeing patients as self-centered, demanding, entitled and worst of all like they were potential plaintiffs if I made a mistake.
I have been using your techniques, R.E.F.L.E.C.T. and the Time out tool. It has made a big difference. I no longer look outside of myself and count on others to validate myself, to make myself happy. I am much better mentally and approach a shift with anticipation instead of dread. The Time Out tool is great, I try to see the dynamics from the patients perspective. I guard against letting my preconceived ideas guide the action-reaction dynamics of the encounter. I no longer feel like my respect is at stake or is being attacked.
It is not easy to get there. I have to work on it, even now. It is easy to slip back into the habits of a lifetime. By using these techniques, keeping them forefront, I am changing, getting happier and those around me are happier and that comes back to me. It is a perfect circle!
Great book and an easy read! I love that you highlighted cases that made it interesting and applicable. Even an old dog like me can learn!
Attilla Kiss MD
Back from Burnout is just an extraordinary read. I have worked in healthcare for 35+ years, I have 3 children—-1 physician, 1 physician ‘to be’ and a NICU nurse. And I also was the President of a Behavioral Continuum for five years—–I get it. Having the opportunity to work in healthcare is such a gift. Where else does one have the opportunity to do something of such service to the lives of so many? But with that service comes a rollercoaster of emotion—-the highest highs and the lowest lows—-and with that emotional rollercoaster comes the high probability of burnout. Health care workers are some of the very worst at caring for themselves—we give so much to others, much of the time there is nothing left for ‘me’. Frank does such a beautiful job of not just stating the truths, but gives us tools we can use to ‘re-set’ ourselves. To back up, think through things differently, consider different, more appropriate reactions—-puts it all into perspective for us and doesn’t drain our energy. Precious energy we need for that next patient.
Our population is aging, there is going to be even more demand for the ‘angels’ who work to heal the sick, manage the pain, provide compassion and empathy. It’s our responsibility to care for the caregivers and to give them tools to help care for themselves. Frank’s book Back from Burnout does just that.
At first I thought the book revealed all it had to offer half way through but you surprised me as I read on.The best compliment is to say that I did not want the book end . I loved all your vignettes. Your understanding and explanation of human emotions clearly reflect the amount of research that went into preparing this tutorial. I think it is a home run. It should be a required reading for all medical personnel who are working with patient. Honestly it would be a great read for all. Let me know when it comes off the press. I have a long list of people I want to give this to as a gift.
Last September was a low point in my life. A mediocre job of 16 years was coming to a close, and I was about to leave my home and friends to start a new life alone with my cats. Cleaning out my car that sad day I stumbled upon the excerpt from Dr. Gabrin’s book, “Back from Burnout.” It was so amazing that I emailed the magazine editor. To my complete surprise and honor, I received an email from both the editor and from Dr. Gabrin himself, along with an invitation to read the unpublished book. This book changed my life. It is one of the most brilliant works I have ever read. Clearly Dr. Gabrin is one of the great geniuses of our time, and his message needs to be heard.
The idea is almost too simple: You can change your career and your life just by genuinely caring about other people. It is rooted in quantum physics. It works.
In October I started a new job in a different state. Prepared for failure, I decided that my only hope was to devote myself completely to giving good care to my patients. I wanted these patients to know just how much I cared about them. Over and again I practiced the steps in REFLECT until they became second nature. The return has been extraordinary. The new hospital gives me more positive feedback than I have ever had before in 30 years of proactive. Patients sometimes call meon my cell phone or write notes just to say how much I helped hem. Within a month I had a brand new, thoroughly rewarding life.
Everyone in healthcare, everyone period, should read this book. It holds the secret to a happier personal life and a much better world.
Nancy Alyson Shaw, MD
Last fall when my life was in a state of transition I had the privilege of reading BACK FROM BURNOUT. It is a work of genius. It set the stage for success in my new adventure, and completely changed my life. Recently I read both BOOSTER SHOTS and CARE 101. In reading these book I realized that I had slacked off a little. Being the best physician you possibly can be, always relating to the patient and putting his interests first, takes discipline and commitment. The reinforcement from these sequels reinfused me with passion for medicine.
The books are all brilliant. Read them. Trust me, something quantum will happen in your life.
Nancy Alyson Shaw, MD
Thank you so much for providing me with this beautiful tool! I have worked in the medical field for what seems like my entire adult life and I was never provided with an instrument to understand the natural progression of my psyche during this time, I actually never realized that this change would even occur in me. This book has helped me to regain the youthful innocence and joy I had when I first entered the field and words cannot express my gratitude to Dr. Frank Gabrin for providing me with this information. Now I know exactly what to buy for all of my friends who are graduating and entering into a career in medicine.
Natalie M. Saalinger NP
When I met Dr Frank Gabrin a few years ago, it didn’t take me long to realize that this was a man to watch. He was definitely unlike the haggard diagnosis and disposition drones I had become all too familiar with as an ED nurse. He genuinely seemed to be interested in acting like a human being, a team member, a collaborator in care, and a teacher and consultant to the patient that had nowhere else to turn. This was in addition to the fact that the staff would smile when knowing he was coming in that shift. “He’ll bring good coffee. He’ll bring music. He’ll have some funny stories.” This was a man to watch. How could a man who works in multiple states, travels that much, and gets constantly barraged with a steady stream of ungrateful, entitled, demanding patients capable of appearing so happy? This wasn’t the Valium-induced happiness glaze of the soccer moms of the early 90’s. This was genuine, this was remarkable, and this was worth asking him about. I’m glad I asked.
Reading Dr Gabrin’s book was not only a treat, but a miracle. I asked to climb into his head and see what had made him capable of living like he does. What he shared when he handed me a preliminary draft of his culmination of soul searching over the past beaucoup years was surprisingly simple. However…sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. This book, this process, this way of life has made it possible for me to continue coming to work, reconnect me with the patients I care for, solidify my relationships with my coworkers, and remember why I even came to work to begin with. I get the same paycheck regardless. Why not made the most of my time? Smile once in a while? Actually care for someone instead of just clearing their airway and hanging their antibiotics? This book has made me able to do that, coming from a point when I was hitting burnout before the age of thirty. What was I going to do for the next thirty years without a change? Was I going to be miserable and feeling victimized in an unrelenting and unforgiving world of modern medicine?
Dr Gabrin’s book feels credible and genuine from the beginning. It’s apparent he isn’t the moniker attached to a book that was written by a panel of self-help robots in hopes of climbing up the Huffington Post and New York Times bestseller list. It takes incredible bravery to share our secrets and failures with our closest friends and loved ones, let alone strangers. Dr Gabrin’s book is a success because it comes from personal experience, personal victory, and speaks with a credibility and authority due to his unapologetic willingness to share of himself. The target audience already has a problem in their professional lives (as well as probably spill-over into their personal lives) if they are looking at this book, and the answers are all presented to the reader if they are truly ready to embrace True Care. They say the proof is in the pudding, and I don’t expect you to take my word for it. My own mother (the person who should know you the best) commented last week on my work situation. She stated she was so happy to see me happier, and not seem to hate my job and my life so much. That was an off-hand and casual comment she had made…but I realized what had been the spark that helped me break my cycle of playing victim, and helped me play nurse again. That’s why I wrote this book review, and I wish the book the best. It needs published, and I know there are millions of caregivers of all paths that would be interested in it….and benefit from reading it. Thank you for your time.
Jeffrey L Kaiser, BSN, RN, FF/EMT-P
Dr. Gabrin’s candid and intimate views on burnout, recovery, progressive medicine, and TRUE CARE are not only worth a read, they are going to change your practice…and your life. If you aren’t scared to unlock and re-open the reasons you got into medicine, nursing, rescue, or health care…read on. I would recommend this book for anyone involved in “caring” in any sense of the word.
Back from Burnout, Care 101, and Booster Shots are deeply profound, and very useful. Dismantling medicine’s “Biggest Myth” may truly be the only way to save Western Medicine, and Dr. Gabrin shows us why caregivers and patients are unhappier than ever….he also shows us a way to repair the damage we’ve done to ourselves and our patients. If you have thought about hanging up with stethoscope for good….pick up a copy of this.
Jeffrey L Kaiser, BSN, RN, FF/EMT-P
While reading this book, I realized that I had all the classic signs of burnout. I would come home feeling exhausted, depressed, I dreaded my next shift, and no matter how hard I worked, I always felt like I could have done more. This book has opened my eyes and made me realize that I did not NEED to physically change my position in the hospital but all I needed to do was actively listen to what my patients were trying to tell me and to empathize with them in order to connect with them so that I could care for them in the way they were expecting, with respect and dignity. In doing so, I will get the dignity, respect, and the gratitude that I, unbeknownst to me, had been looking for my entire career. I now come home from a shift and I actually have to take an hour to wind down instead of dropping right to sleep, I’m excited to go to work, and I actually want to pick up the overtime when it’s offered. I finally feel the satisfaction I was looking for and I can go home after my shift knowing that I did my best and fought the Angel of Death, whether I won or lost, I fought my hardest and I am doing what I was meant to do in this life.
Christina M Gollas, RN
Incredibly fascinating read, Frank.Amazing grasp of the sociology, psychology, and neurobiology of happiness and how we can retrain our minds to achieve it regardless of our situations.
Adam’s story was very moving – terrifying to absorb as a mother, but incredible to appreciate as an ED MD. Miraculous save – and not an entirely surprising end, because kids are totally bananas.
I appreciate your candor about not being “perfect” – that negative thoughts will come along, and that you need to acknowledge them, and deal with them in a systematic fashion in order to be effective at your job. The “time out” is great, it’s a parallel to the procedural time outs that we do as surgeons as well, and thus it’s easy to understand.
The other critical point is the need for balance overall in life. Work is a means to an end, it should be a part of life but not the totality of it. My life got 100 times better when I had my daughter, decided she and my family (and not work) were the #1 priority, and I started to work part-time. I can give much more of myself now to effort of caring when I’m totally balanced between self, work, and home life.
Judith Toski Welsh ED MD
A self help book that takes place in the setting of a grueling emergency room. In Back from Burnout we find the honesty of Dr. Frank Gabin as he deals with some of his most difficult cases all while learning to hold on to tolerance, kindness, compassion, hope and grace.
Mark Tang, MD
This book captures what it’s like to work in an emergency department— the intensity, the incredible highs when someone is saved and the lows when they’re not. Dr. Gabrin understands and acknowledges the toll that takes on providers and the potential impact on preformance. His love of his profession is clear and his passion for giving others the tools so they, too, can know that they are privileged to be able to care for patients when they are most needed. This book should be mandated reading for all providers of acute care.
Carla ODay, MD FACEP
Being a nurse who not only worked in the ER but also worked along side Dr Gabrin, this book put the whole experience in perspective. You see the best and the worst of nursing/healthcare and reflection of these events make you think about every aspect of “life”! Frank Gabrin shows and puts the compassion and reflection into every patient he sees! Every health care professional needs to own this book because it is such a good guide to look to on the best and worst days of your career! Bravo Dr. Gabrin!