“Burnout is the end stage of unmanaged stress in the workplace,” says Diana Londoño, MD.
In this installment of “Begin Your Journey,” urologist Diana Londoño, MD, talks with host Scott A. MacDiarmid, MD, FRCPSC, about her career path. Londoño is a urologic oncology surgeon and assistant clinical professor in the department of surgery at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. MacDiarmid is a urologist with Alliance Urology Specialists in Greensboro, North Carolina.
MacDiarmid: Welcome, everyone. I'm Dr. Scott MacDiarmid in Greensboro, North Carolina. Welcome to our series on physician wellness. We call it "Begin Your Journey." It's a title that is near and dear to myself and I know to my guest. I want to thank Urology Times for sponsoring this interview. It's great to have good sponsors. We need loud voices joined [together] to educate on this important topic. Our series is about our national crisis of provider burnout. Our series is bringing in experts like Diana to [help] bring us solutions and survival tactics for physician burnout, but also, I think, to go away feeling more encouraged and supported as you use your gifts and talents to help others and to serve our nation. I welcome Diana tonight. We've never met formally, but she's a fellow urologist, a colleague, and we're friends. We're very like minded. We have spoken together and we have the same passion, and I can't wait to get to know her better, and for our audience to get to know her better. Diana Londono is a urologist in Los Angeles. She loves her patients; I can tell when I hear her speak. Diana, just start off and introduce yourself. I want to hear a little bit about your family, and also your practice, as well as your practice environment. Is it a positive environment or a frustrating one?
Londoño: Thank you again, so much for this invitation, and to Urology Times for supporting this. I agree with you that this is a complex problem, and it needs a lot of support and solutions and is not just 1 facet; it [needs] pharma and media to really amplify this, to come up with solutions. I mean, we're really here to say, "Okay, let's have awareness of the problem. What can we do once we have the awareness and really start tackling, in different ways, solutions to get to a better place?" Because we know that the rates are alarming, honestly, and we can't continue this way forever. And I really do think that the more we speak about it, the more we unite, we come together, we really, like I said, can look at this from different angles, to get to a better place. I'm a urologist in Los Angeles, and I've been through burnout twice. And it manifested very differently each time. That's important to realize, that it may not manifest the same way. It can happen multiple times, if you don't really change something to have the awareness and stop that stress cycle, which is really what burnout is. Burnout is the end stage of unmanaged stress in the workplace. It's sort of like cilantro in our teeth. We don't know what's happening. We don't recognize it. Many times, other people—colleagues, family, friends—may have to point it out. And then it's about changing things, having the courage, the self love, to do something different, so that you're not stuck in that valley of despair, that valley of burnout, and really get to a better place.
This transcription was edited for clarity.