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Fighting Physician Burnout: Featured Student Essay

April 05, 2017

Fourth-year LKSOM student Erin Barnes (right) and her husband on Match Day last month.

“You have got to be kidding me,” the doctor continued. “A student? You’re a student calling me? Wow.” I held the phone away from my ear, as if it would somehow protect me from her verbal assault…

A great essay on physician burnout by Erin Barnes. Michael Vitez worked with her on this as part of a fourth-year narrative medicine project. The catalyst was her own experience. She read widely on the subject, used her residency interviews to help with research, and wrote this tight, compelling narrative.

Read it now on

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Michael Vitez, winner of the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism at The Philadelphia Inquirer, is the director of narrative medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.