Physician Well-being and the Regenerative Power of Caring

By Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.
JAMA, April 17, 2018

In 1948, Life magazine published what has become an iconic and, for many, nostalgic photograph essay depicting the life and work of Dr Ernest Ceriani, a Colorado general practitioner. Among the 38 photographs is one of Dr Ceriani attempting to save the eye of a 2-year-old girl who was kicked by a horse, another of him carrying an 85-year-old man to the operating room to amputate a gangrenous leg, and another showing him holding a newly delivered infant. His expressive face shows anguish, anxiety, uncertainty, and exhaustion—and triumph. Nowhere in the article does the word “burnout” appear.

first page preview:

full text: