The Doctor's Life with Dianne Ansari-Winn, MD
The ME Factor: Burnout in Men with Dr. Ganz Ferrance, PhD
On this episode of “The Doctor’s Life” podcast, host Dianne Ansari-Winn, MD sits down with Dr. Ganz Ferrance to talk about an important, yet under discussed topic: men and burnout. Dr. Ganz is the author of The Me Factor: The Systematic Guide To Getting What The Hell You Want. He holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, has been featured on Good Morning Canada and CTV News, and is a prominent speaker in both the US and Canada. During their conversation Dr. Ganz and Dr. Dianne talk about the multiple stages and symptoms of burnout, as well as the roadblocks that prevent men from fighting and preventing burnout, while offering simple solutions that can be taken, including the importance of questioning everything they do by asking “is this working?”
As the author Stephen Covey famously said, “Most people spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success, only to realize when they get to the top that the ladder has been leaning against the wrong wall”. This is something very prevalent in today’s culture. Realizing this, Dr. Ganz’s work as a counseling psychologist and author is aimed at preventing men in particular from climbing up the “wrong walls” in life and burning out as a result. The challenge becomes knowing what the right walls are! This is where the conversation with Dr. Ganz is focused in hopes of brining clarity to these issues, to help the listener understand what burnout is and how to avoid it. So what does burnout look like? As Dr. Ganz explains, early on the symptoms include a sense of exhaustion and an overall inability to enjoy oneself. But as it grows and reaches the later stages the symptoms can be detrimental, including physical sickness. In some instances burnout can develop so far as to utterly cripple professionals and bring careers to a standstill, something Dr. Ganz has himself witnessed and has dedicated his life to helping professionals avoid.
As the conversation climaxes, the doctors discuss how one of the biggest problems behind burnout is that most men lack the knowledge to realize they are going through it. When dealing with intense levels of stress and burnout men will often de-personalize the issue by lashing out at traffic, the weather, or a spouse. But the challenges that men face must be overcome, because the stakes are too high. As Dr. Ganz illustrates, if you don’t put gas in the vehicle until the end of the journey, you won’t ever make it to the end. What he means is that if men don’t learn to take care of themselves from the start of their careers, they will inevitably burn out and hurt everyone else within their sphere of influence.
So what is the solution to treating and preventing burnout? Dr. Ganz provides concrete answers as to how men can objectively measure themselves for burnout, and fight against their own tendencies to overlook their personal well-being. One simple but highly effective solution he offers is the task of questioning everything. By this he means constantly asking the simple question “is this working?”, something he believes will help passionate professionals go from unconsciously pursuing every opportunity they come across, to living a meaningful existence marked by focused success as they are enabled to say no to climbing the ladders that do not lead them where they really want to go.