Suzanne Stevens, MD, FAAOS


Published 3/11/2024
Suzanne Stevens, MD, FAAOS

Fight Burnout by Reconnecting with What Motivates You

Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the article “Resilience Alone Cannot Address Orthopaedic Surgeon Burnout, Moral Injury,” by Mary Carnduff, MD, MBA, FAAOS, which was published in the October 2023 issue of AAOS Now.

Dr. Carnduff’s article touches on the surface of personal challenges faced by orthopaedic surgeons. These challenges are magnified if you are a female orthopaedic doctor; [burnout and moral injury took a toll] on my family and marriage. Surgeons don’t ask for help, but if we do ask, too often help is either not available or not easily accessible.

I found the 2023 Eastern Orthopaedic Association Annual Meeting program on the topic refreshing. Highly motivational speakers were built into the program each day. They called us back into the roles of patient leader-ship and asked us to reflect on our original motivation for choosing this profession.

The speakers focused our attention on how deep our resolve and resilience can truly be. The ripple effect of their words reverberated far beyond the walls of that conference room, time, and space.

Our CME requirements demand that continued learning is an integral part of our ongoing education and training. To choose life, kindness, patience, and love requires that we take the time to replenish our inner strength and peace. This goal reminds me that I am not just the carpenter, the artist and craftsman, or the initial carver, but also the one with knowledge, positivity, and creativity that are impacting people’s lives.

Suzanne Stevens, MD, FAAOS, is a board-certified general orthopaedic surgeon with ValleyHealth in Woodstock, Virginia.