Cultivating the joy of medicine: A focus on intrinsic factors and the meaning of our work

Janet R. Serwint, Miriam T. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Physician burnout is at epidemic levels. In our role as healers, the concepts of humanism and relief of suffering are central themes in our work, yet burnout and depersonalization can threaten these values. While working to mitigate burnout, we need to move towards a focus on health and well-being and develop preventive strategies to cultivate resilience. This manuscript discusses the intrinsic factors that motivate us to be physicians: medicine as a calling, finding meaning in our work, and seeking joy in practice. Some strategies that enhance our resilience will be discussed including individual reflective practices, in addition to organizational strategies such as creating team mission statements, and participating in debriefing, Balint groups, and Schwartz Rounds. All of these practices provide opportunities to acknowledge the emotional impact of our care of patients and to focus on our values and the meaning of our work. Strategies to cultivate joy in practice are presented alongside a framework from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to guide organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100665
JournalCurrent Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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