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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Family Medicine

Advisor

Dr. Nancy Reid, MHA, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA

Abstract

Emotional dissonance, or the discrepancy between what one feels and outwardly expresses, is a prevalent finding amongst healthcare providers. The internal conflicts associated with professional, societal and personal dynamics can create an emotional imbalance which seemingly goes unnoticed by the clinician. When cognizant or mindful of negative feelings and emotions specifically related to the workplace, many professionals negate or diminish associated thoughts and often erroneously interpret his or her lack of situational confrontation as resilience. This disconnect frequently becomes the foundation for provider stress, exhaustion, depression, anxiety, emotional detachment and post-traumatic stress disorder. The outward expressions of these conditions can easily lead to a lack of patient empathy by the provider, and ultimately a decline in patient satisfaction. It is imperative that healthcare institutions create environments that foster awareness of provider emotional dissonance and facilitate the proper support systems to sustain and protect the mental health of clinicians.

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