A perplexing question!
It is a most uncommon feat for a disease to be better known by lay people than medical professionals yet over the course of the last decade burnout has gained much more attention in popular press than in the medical field. The DSM-V, also referred to as ‘the Bible of psychiatry, published only 5 years ago and repeatedly criticised for being over-inclusive, does not include a diagnosis of burnout. Paradoxically, initial research in burnout pathology during the 1970’s was conducted with struggling health care professionals. Herbert Freudenberger in his outpatient clinic for addiction in New York City, and later Christina Maslach, researcher at UC Berkeley in California, were the first to describe how health care professionals fell victim to overwhelming symptoms of exhaustion, cynicism and feelings of ineptitude. The burnout syndrome was born.
We asked Christophe Sauerwein, our Academic Director, to write a blog introducing himself, allowing us to peer beneath the mask of labels and job titles. Christophe is more than just our Academic Director and more than a psychotherapist running his own private practice. In this incredibly comprehensive and human piece we are permitted an inside view of Christophe’s life and mind. We feel exceptionally privileged to publish it.