What can positive psychology teach us about clinician burnout, patient engagement, and clinical care?


It’s no secret that burnout infiltrates nearly every healthcare facility, clinic, or organization in existence. As I discuss in The Manifesto, clinicians often feel burnout, disconnected from their patients, and driven to hit utilization & productivity benchmarks. Many factors play a role in this “epidemic” in the healthcare space: the drive for productivity, weak work cultures, and not viewing healthcare as a relationship, just to name a few… What we need is a return to empathy, patient-centered communication, and patient-centered decision-making in our healthcare organizations. We need to once again look at this noble profession of healthcare as a calling rather than a career.


My guests this week, Larry Benz is the perfect person to talk to about this topic. His book, Called to Care, makes the argument that the antidote to burnout involves empathy, communication, and a dose of positive psychology. As I mentioned in the intro to this episode, reading this book made me fall in love with clinical care. I mean, we all got into healthcare because we wanted to help people. We wanted to build relationships, see patients overcome their pain or dysfunction, and return to doing the things that are important to them. We didn’t sign up for compliance, productivity, and utilization.


What we cover in this Episode:


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If you enjoyed this episode: Join Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi), principal of Rehab U Practice Solutions and host of The Better Outcomes Show as he explores the possibilities of a new healthcare. Guests range from clinicians trying new techniques and treatments to executives and entrepreneurs exploring new service delivery methods, business models, and organizational structures. You can sign-up to receive new episodes delivered directly to your inbox by filling out the form at the top of this page.  Learn more about Rehab U Practice Solutions by reading The Manifesto for a New Healthcare, or listen to Episode 000.


Are You Ready to Take Your Organization to the Next Level?

If you run a clinic or practice and are looking to develop a strategy that leverages best practices, new technology, and marketing/messaging in a way that maximizes patient engagement & retention, please reach out. We’d love to talk with you about how Rehab U Practice Solutions can help your clinic bring in more patients, retain them throughout their course of care, and create uniquely impactful patient experiences.

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi) is the Principal Owner of Rehab U Practice Solutions and the host of The Better Outcomes Show. He has experience in a variety of rehab settings, working with patients recovering from a variety of injuries and surgeries. Rafi has worked in a variety of settings, from orthopedic and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, to academia, and even healthcare consulting. He spent the majority of his clinical experience working at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, where he was the lead clinician and clinical education coordinator for the outpatient specialty rehab program. In this role, he treated many veterans with chronic pain and helped to establish an interdisciplinary pain management program. He has worked on projects ranging from patient engagement initiatives to marketing communication campaigns to a multi million dollar project assisting the State of Georgia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities transition individuals out of state institutions to community residences. He also has experience as a core faculty member at Augusta University’s Occupational Therapy Program, as a Licensed Board Member on the GA State OT Board, and he serves on the Board of Directors for NBCOT. He works to help healthcare clinics and organizations deliver uniquely impactful patient experiences by improving service delivery through training & advisement and through courses & training programs.

Read his full bio Here. Read about Rehab U Here.

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