Stephanie I. Byerly, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Management, University of Texas Southwestern, Division Chief Obstetrical Anesthesiology, Clements University Hospital
I completed Medical School, Anesthesiology Residency, and Neuroanesthesiology Fellowship at the University of Florida and have spent my career at The University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas. My career thus far has been in an academic teaching environment with responsibilities including patient care, research, education of all levels of learners in medicine, and high level administrator roles.
Over the last several years, an additional focus of mine has been preventing physician burnout and promoting physician wellness after experiencing several episodes of burnout during my career. My passion for these topics lead me to write a recently published article entitled, “Female Physician Wellness: Are Our Expectations of Ourselves Extreme?”
I believe this article is extremely important to Female Physicians who face obstacles that male physicians never encounter. Female Physicians will gain much benefit to see these obstacles in writing and hope that Male Physicians will read this and gain much insight in order to help change the culture of medicine regarding women. Unconscious gender bias is ever present throughout society but my goal was to focus on Female Physicians and the additional challenges we face.
Wellness Initiatives: Past, Present, Future
In addition to experiencing burnout first hand as a single mother and physician, I have dedicated much of my time to exploring this issue through wellness visits and national organization initiatives over the last year.
In 2018, my journey took me to spend time at Stanford with the ER/Anesthesiology Department with our Resident Chief Wellness Office to learn about their strategies to decrease burnout and improve the career sustainability for residents/faculty.
From there, I went on to attend a program through Georgetown University with The Institute for Integrative Health: Educating for Enhanced Self – awareness and Sel-Care: An Experiential Faculty Training Program in Mind – Body Medicine.
I am now a facilitator of Mind Body Medicine Training, a member of my department's Faculty Wellness Committee, and a representative for the Dallas County Medical Society/Tarrant County Medical Society for the North Texas Alliance for Clinician Resilience (as part of the part of a National Academy of Medicine wellness initiative).
In 2019, I will be adopting the Mind Body Medicine Techniques to anesthesia faculty with regular bimonthly wellness meetings to teach the physiology of stress and how chronic stress can lead to burnout. Additionally, I will be teaching classes that offer strategies for mindfulness and meditation. It will also be a support group.
Through the American society of Anesthesiology, I am a member of the ad-hoc committee for women in anesthesia and the chair of the sub-section addressing increasing resources for female anesthesiologist in the state component societies.
As I continue to bring light to physician burnout, I will be on panels and workshops dealing with physician wellness and career sustainability through The American Society of Anesthesiology Annual Meeting and The Society for Obstetrics and Perinatology Annual Meeting in 2019.