Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

CHAIRMAN’S NOTE

Stil Kountakis, MD, PhD Professor and Chairman, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Edward S. Porubsky,        MD Distinguished Chair in Otolaryngology skountakis@augusta.edu

Dear Readers,

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoyed the holiday season.

Our department faculty members started FY2020 firing on all cylinders so that by the end of the first quarter, our surgical cases were up by 33% in the adult service at MCG-AU Medical Center and by 18% at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

Now I really have to worry about burnout, so I tested myself first by using the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Thank God my score showed “Low-Level Burnout” risk, but it got me thinking why that is? Don’t I have to go to numerous committee meetings, receive more emails than Elvis, fight with insurance companies and deal with revenue cycle problems? All of these made me appreciate the time at work that I spend with patients and be glad that I persisted in continuing my clinical activity. I believe it is this face-to-face contact with my patients that reminds me why I became a physician and nourishes me to show up for work every day. This explains why some physicians continue to work later than when most others retire, some even in their 80’s. So next time you feel down and beat by some external healthcare force, walk into a patient’s room, look them straight in the eyes and give your 100% in listening to their symptoms and problems and make sure that they leave your office satisfied and happy that they got to see you. Then you can take the Maslach Burnout Inventory test and I bet you will pass with flying colors.

Another year is here, welcome it with a happy heart and a positive mind. Wishing you a very Happy New Year.