Medical Doctor Presents Unique Approach to Overcoming Professional Burnout and Recovering Joy in Work and Life

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Alan Shelton, MD, MPH, reflects on his personal experiences with debilitating stress and leads the way for readers, no matter what job they have, to heal their spirits and improve their lives

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I highly recommend this book as an important resource for anyone struggling with job satisfaction. Pastors, teachers, social workers, and many more nonmedical and medical individuals could all find it life-giving, as well.

Experienced physician Alan Shelton, MD, MPH, has released an encouraging self-help book that shares his personal experience coping with professional burnout and journey to regaining his passion for medicine through spiritual enrichment. In “Life Beyond Burnout: Recovering Joy in Your Work,” Dr. Shelton explains how burnout is endemic in medical, social work and first response careers, among many others, and demonstrates how it can deplete a person’s energy, robbing them of opportunities to use their best skills to help those in need.

According to a 2015 paper published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the rate of burnout among doctors was at about 54.4 percent in 2014, a significant increase from 2011’s rate of 45.5 percent. When the term “burnout” is Googled, it returns about 114 million results. And Dr. Shelton is no stranger to it – despite beginning his career with the youthful zeal of a highly competitive, well-educated (albeit inexperienced) medical doctor, he soon found himself deep in the trenches of burnout and jaded by the work that once inspired him though years of rigorous study.

“In my early years I worked long hours caring for patients doing obstetrics and hospital work, managing the clinic staff, and growing my family,” Dr. Shelton wrote in his book. “Over time I grew more and more dissatisfied. Though I experienced professional success and the clinic continued to grow, something critical was missing from my work life. Before long, burnout nearly sidelined me.”

After an encounter with a Native Medicine Man, Dr. Shelton was able to begin his road to recovery. Ultimately, he found the essential role of spirituality guided him back to not only an enthusiastic and joyful work experience, but to a better, more gratifying life. Dr. Shelton’s new approach combines Native American concepts of wellness, use of an effective technique for stress management and an enhanced openness to intuitive guidance

“I highly recommend this book as an important resource for anyone struggling with job satisfaction. Pastors, teachers, social workers, and many more nonmedical and medical individuals could all find it life-giving, as well.” – Holle Plaehn, Pastor Emeritus at Peace Lutheran Church in Tacoma, Wash., and author of “Plaehn Talk from the Hill”

“Life Beyond Burnout: Recovering Joy in Your Work”
By Alan Shelton, MD, MPH with Bette Nordberg, BSPT, RPT
ISBN: 978-1-9822-1048-9 (softcover); 978-1-9822-1050-2 (e-book)
Available through Balboa Press, Barnes & Noble and Amazon

About the author
Alan Shelton, MD, MPH, is the clinical director of the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority where burnout nearly drove him to abandon medicine. Today, Dr. Shelton speaks to audiences throughout the U.S., sharing the secrets he’s gathered on his journey back to fulfillment. A successful family practice physician with over 30 years of experience in primary care, Dr. Shelton is part of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine. He studied at Seattle Pacific University, Oregon Health & Science University and the University of Washington. Dr. Shelton currently practices and resides in Tacoma, Wash. To learn more, please visit http://www.alansheltonmd.com or view a trailer for “Life Beyond Burnout” on YouTube.

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