More than grit: The tools for resilience

April 11, 2023 / By Travis Bias, DO, MPH, FAAFP

Inside Angle Podcast
Click to listen to the podcast

The burnout epidemic among health workers has become front-page news. It took a while, but here we are speaking openly about a problem that has drained our health care workforce globally. Addressing such a pervasive problem and supporting the recovery of an entire workforce from such deeply personal demoralization and exhaustion will require investing in new tools for healing. 

Fortunately, Allison Massari, an award-winning visual artist and our keynote speaker for this year’s 3M Client Experience Summit, understands the long-term journey that rehabilitation from trauma requires. A tragic motor vehicle accident threatened her life and her years of recovery have completely reshaped how she moves through life.  

Her perspective is refreshing, especially for this health worker who has read burnout narratives for years.  

She knows a thing or two about personal resilience and the struggle between managing negativity and “defiantly [making] the decision to keep your light shining no matter what is happening to you or in the world around you.” When you do this, she suggests, “you begin to access something so expansive, so surprising, so much more beyond what grit does.” Instead of giving in to negativity, what if you could see every life experience as an opportunity to learn? What if you could see the silver lining? “What if life is on my side?”  

Her accident put her in the hands of nurses, whose caring gaze – simply their compassionate look – showed her that you may never really understand the impact you can have on another’s life. In health care, I think it’s easy for us to lose sight of that; or rather, it’s hard to keep that front-of-mind on a daily basis.  

It was an absolute joy to host Allison on the Inside Angle podcast. Take a listen to our conversation here, or join us in person to hear Allison’s full story in Atlanta, May 22 – 25! 

Dr. Travis Bias is a family medicine physician and chief medical officer of clinician solutions at 3M Health Information Systems.