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In Reply—Physicians in the 21st Century: Between Identification With Medicine as a Calling and Self-Diagnosing Burnout, Depression, and Anxiety

      To the Editor:
      I thank Mousa et al
      • Mousa O.Y.
      • Dhamoon M.S.
      • Dhamoon A.S.
      Physicians in the 21st century: between identification with medicine as a calling and self-diagnosing burnout, depression, and anxiety.
      for submitting a letter to the editor in response to our article titled “Association Between Physician Burnout and Identification With Medicine as a Calling.”
      • Jager A.J.
      • Tutty M.A.
      • Kao A.C.
      Association between physician burnout and identification with medicine as a calling.
      Although our study assessed the relationship between burnout and calling only among practicing physicians, I would support the premise that Mousa et al posit: that is, this inverse calling-burnout association is likely to be found among medical trainees.
      However, given the focus of our study, I am reluctant to claim that “lacking the sense of calling can be a critical marker of mental health illnesses.”
      • Mousa O.Y.
      • Dhamoon M.S.
      • Dhamoon A.S.
      Physicians in the 21st century: between identification with medicine as a calling and self-diagnosing burnout, depression, and anxiety.
      Whether lacking a sense of calling is associated with psychiatric diagnoses such as major depressive or general anxiety disorder, it would seem that there are ways of assessing for such disorders more directly (eg, through the use of formal, validated screening tools as used in the Mousa et al study of medical trainees
      • Mousa O.Y.
      • Dhamoon M.S.
      • Lander S.
      • Dhamoon A.S.
      The MD blues: under-recognized depression and anxiety in medical trainees.
      ) or indirectly (eg, measures of burnout) without having to invoke a lack of calling as a critical marker of such disorders.

      References

        • Mousa O.Y.
        • Dhamoon M.S.
        • Dhamoon A.S.
        Physicians in the 21st century: between identification with medicine as a calling and self-diagnosing burnout, depression, and anxiety.
        Mayo Clin Proc. 2017;
        • Jager A.J.
        • Tutty M.A.
        • Kao A.C.
        Association between physician burnout and identification with medicine as a calling.
        Mayo Clin Proc. 2017; 92: 415-422
        • Mousa O.Y.
        • Dhamoon M.S.
        • Lander S.
        • Dhamoon A.S.
        The MD blues: under-recognized depression and anxiety in medical trainees.
        PLoS One. 2016; 11: e0156554

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