Moral Distress, Moral Residue, and Clinician Burnout—Shining a Blue Light on It
Tammie Quest, MD FAAHPM
Clinician burnout is one of the greatest threats to the viability of our field today.
Last year, one of our fellows presented a Journal Club that was transformative for me. Although the topic was moral distress in our field, I was struck when the in-depth discussion among members of our interdisciplinary team, faculty, fellows, residents, and medical students turned to not only the moral distress we feel in our daily palliative care work, but the idea of moral residue. I liken moral residue to the remnants of moral distress left after we have had a critical distress-filled experience with a patient, a family, a referring clinician, or a team member.