Burnout & Resilience with Dr. Jay Kaplan & Rebecca Herbert

"Resilience is being able to recover: when you get bent out of shape, it’s the ability to get back into the shape you need to be, once again..." —Dr. Jay Kaplan

Guest Bios

Jay Kaplan, MD, FACEP is Medical Director of Care Transformation and Director of the Be Well Center for LCMC Health in New Orleans, LA. He is Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, LSU Health Sciences Center, and an attending physician and academic faculty for the Emergency Medicine Residency at University Medical Center New Orleans. Dr. Kaplan is a past President of the American College of Emergency Physicians and current national faculty for ACEP, as well as a member of the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience. Dr. Kaplan is past Medical Director of Studer Group and past Director of Service and Operational Excellence for CEP America (now Vituity).

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Kaplan is being honored as ACEP’s John G. Wiegenstein Leadership award winner in 2021. In years past Dr. Kaplan was named ACEP’s Outstanding Speaker of the Year (2003), and in 2007 Studer Group honored him with their Physician Fire Starter Award. Other honors include the Grace Humanitarian Award of the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine (2011), the University of Maryland Department of Emergency Medicine Outstanding Leadership in Emergency Medicine award (2014), and a Letter of Commendation from ACEP in September 2018.

As an international speaker and facilitator, Dr. Kaplan has presented to and coached hospital and physician leaders, medical groups, emergency departments, and individual physicians for more than 25 years. His approach remains tactical and directed toward improved outcomes, emphasizing the importance of teamwork.

Dr. Kaplan continues to practice clinically because he loves the clinical practice of medicine, and caring for patients helps him remain close to the patients’, the hospital staff’s, and the physicians’ current experience.

Rebecca Herbert is a 4th year medical student at Tulane School of Medicine, planning on going into General Surgery. She is a New Orleans local with an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and spent her twenties working as a carpenter before pursuing a master's degree in human nutrition and ultimately medical school. The topic of resilience has been near and dear to her heart for a long time; her mother is a breast cancer survivor of 30 years, watching southern Louisiana come through so many moments of upheaval, and now personally embarking on the long journey that is medical education.

A programming note: We do discuss suicide as a part of this episode. If you or someone you know are in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, we encourage you to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Episode Pearls

"Writing (in a journal) helped me get through medical school....It helps me recover." —Dr. Jay Kaplan

Pebble in the Shoe Exercise for Improving Wellness in Hospital Culture

Ask your staff or colleagues:

    • What’s the best part of your day? What gets in the way of the best part of your work day? What’s the worst part of your work day?

    • When have you felt totally fulfilled and totally happy where you are? Where you felt joy in your being at the time?

Think about a time you were really glad you became a doctor.

  • Who were you with?

  • What did that feel like?

  • What did you feel in your heart?

  • What were you thinking at the time?

  • Think about what’s one thing we can do to bring that feeling into your work day.


Further Reading

  • Thriving in Healthcare by Gary Simonds and Wayne Sotile

  • Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words by David Whyte

  • It's Your Ship by Michael Abrashoff

Reflection Questions

"To me, burnout is loss of connection, including to ourselves and to our families, to those who we love and who love us."

  1. What does burnout look like for you? What are the physical symptoms you notice in yourself? Emotional? Cognitive?

  2. How do you know when you're experiencing burnout? How do the people around you know when you're experiencing it?

  3. Do you have any creative outlets for processing your experiences in medicine? (eg. writing, dance, music-making...)?

  4. Think of a time that you powered through. Did you take time to recover and reconnect afterwards? Did reflection play a role in that recovery?

  5. What mechanisms does your institution have in place to support you? When was the last time you took a day off for mental health/ wellness break?

GOAL: Identify a creative outlet for processing your experience in medicine, and practice it at least once this week.


Host: Dr. Rebekah Byrne, MD

Guest: Dr. Jay Kaplan, MD, FACEP

Student Interviewer: Rebecca Hebert, MS

Producer: Erika Bennett, Dara Bramson

Sound Design: Timothy Knowlton

Original Music (Composed & Performed): Timothy Knowlton