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Burnout Battle Of An ER Doctor

Man-o-man do we have a special one today! I don’t even know where to start with today’s description. There isn’t an aspect of professional burnout, how your blessings can become burdens, or getting and keeping your mind right that Dr. Clay Whiting and I didn’t discuss. And the funny thing is, we met live for the first time right before we recorded this podcast! 

Dr. Clay Whiting is a Level-1 trauma unit Emergency Medicine Physician in San Diego, California. He’s a former US Navy Medical Corp Officer and is a husband and father of 2 children. And like so many of us, he’s faced the challenge of burnout and needing to find a way to reset, reconnect and get his mind right to balance out all in his life. 

As I mentioned, I had not met Clay before we recorded this podcast episode. He’ll share how he stumbled upon the podcast, his personal struggles with professional burnout, feeling disconnected from his responsibilities, rediscovering his faith, and re-establishing a relationship with his father. And on top of it, he shares how he did it and how he’s helping his colleagues do the same and inspire youth to be their best selves.  

Strap in for this episode because we’re about to get real. And dig real deep.

If you find value in today’s podcast, and I know you will, please share it on your social media or send the link to your friends, family, colleagues, and co-workers who are looking for great content on leadership, teamwork, and high performance. And if you know anyone in the medical field or is a first-responder, please share this episode with them.

Please share today’s episode on your social media and make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss a single episode. You can tag me at:

IG/Twitter: @ToddDurkin
FB: @ToddDurkinFQ10  

Dr. Clay Whiting, Union-Tribune feature: Front-Line Voices

More about the episode:

1:05 –  Todd introduces Emergency Medicine Physician, Dr. Clay Whiting, MD.

3:12 – How Dr. Clay Whiting found Todd Durkin.
At the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, Dr. Clay Whiting was suffering from burnout and happened upon Todd Durkin, the Todd Durkin IMPACT podcast, and his God-Sized Dreams Planner.

12:19 – Dr. Clay Whiting Shares his Big 5 (GSD Planner).
Dr. Clay Whiting fully-embraced Todd’s Get Your Mind Right book and the God-Sized Dreams Planner and created his Big 5: Family, Faith, Fitness, Finance/Work, and Fun.

13:45 – How Dr. Clay Whiting’s burnout happened.
Dr. Clay Whiting works in a level 1 trauma center that sees 65,000-70,000 patients/year. Compassion burnout is something he and his colleagues deal with regularly.

19:50 – COVID and the reset process.
When Dr. Clay Whiting caught COVID it forced him to stop and rest and in the process realized he was suffering from burnout as well.

28:50 – Todd Durkin & Dr. Clay Whiting discuss the question of blessing or burden.
Part of burnout can cause the blessings in your life to become burdens and take a toll on your life physically, emotionally, and mentally. 

32:00 – Dr. Clay Whiting shares his best practices.
Circadian rhythm disruption is something Dr. Whiting deals with. He needed to create routines, slow down, learn to live in the moment, and be present.  

37:39 – Renewed faith, re-energizing, and routing to continue to combat burnout.
Dr. Whiting and Todd discuss how faith has helped them both throughout difficult times. 

41:30 – Todd Durkin & Dr. Clay Whiting share a message to medical frontline healthcare workers and all those impacted by COVID.
Secondary fallout from COVID includes mental health issues, addiction to name a few.

45:33 – Where do we go from here?
Todd and Dr. Whiting discuss living in a world of distraction and addiction, the importance of working on your mental health, focusing on what you want to accomplish, and how to get your mind right when it isn’t right.

52:03 – Dr. Clay Whiting shares his God-Sized Dreams (GSD)
Inner peace, being connected and re-establishing a broken relationship with his Father.

54:06 – Dr. Clay Whiting’s final thoughts and pleas.
Hope is Dr. Whiting’s theme for 2022 and he asks that everyone who can give blood to do so – it can save a life.

1:04:04 – Todd asks Dr. Clay Whiting about his legacy.
Inspiring youth to be their best selves and addiction prevention. 

1:05:15 – Todd outro

More about Dr. Clay Whiting:

Clay Whiting, MD, believes in the “whole person” (mind/body and spirit) approach to living life to its fullest potential. He has a unique perspective of our global society having spent the last 30 years “soul searching” and striving to understand the human experience from his early days as a Creighton University medical student, to wearing the uniform proudly as a US Navy Medical Corps Officer, to building his foundation as an Emergency Medicine Resident at Harbor-UCLA and now serving as a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician as a frontline warrior and hero the last 19 years at Scripps Mercy San Diego.

Dr. Whiting wants to be an engaged voice in representing the everyday heroes serving as frontline healthcare workers 24/7/365 during the last two challenging years of our global pandemic. He wants to break down mental health barriers and overcome stigma for physicians (and the entire healthcare team) so as we can share our stories to work together to heal and unite. Let’s inspire one another to stay strong and continue to care for our fellow humanity with love, compassion, understanding and humility.

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