Case Reports| Volume 37, 100102, March 2023

Using empathy to prevent burnout treating patients with cluster B personality disorders in psychiatry residency: A case study in context

Published:March 07, 2023DOI:
      Physician burnout is a ubiquitous dilemma impacting learners and veteran clinicians in medicine. Residency is a high stakes period of medical education where physicians are given greater clinical responsibilities and educated on the specifics of their chosen field. Psychiatry residents are consistently challenged by engaging in therapeutic interventions with patients suffering from a wide range of pathologies, including cluster B personality disorders. These patients are more likely to be high health care utilizers and require intensive psychotherapy and inpatient hospitalizations to treat their disorder. The burden of psychiatry residency, such as dealing with unconsciously manipulative and affectively unstable patients, can precipitate feelings of burnout and exhaustion. Through a case study contextualizing a patient exhibiting cluster B traits, we discuss the benefits of utilizing an empathetic approach to patients with personality disorders, how to ameliorate burnout, and potential benefits to patient outcomes using empathy in clinical practice throughout psychiatry residency.
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