West Virginia University Logo

Calendar of Events

35th Annual WVNEC Symposium

Health Workforce Crisis:  Burnout and Compromised Professionalism-- What Should We Do?

May 12, 2023

Stonewall Resort and Conference Center
Roanoke, WV

The fallout from the “crumbling of the healthcare industry due to staffing shortag­es” may be the most important ethical issue of the 21st Century. More and more, it is being realized that healthcare institutions play a major role in whether their clinicians are experiencing moral dis­tress and burnout. Both are at an all-time high and lead to job dis­satisfaction and clinicians leaving their profession. Without clinician healthcare workers, there is no healthcare. In recent surveys, most physicians, nurses, and pharmacists have symptoms of burnout—high emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a low sense of personal accomplishment from work. According to a 2021 Atlantic article, healthcare workers are leaving the field in droves. Those who are not leaving may be “quietly quitting” in which they remain employed but not fully engaged in their work. All these issues have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Burnout has been as­sociated with major medical errors, suboptimal care practices, and decreased patient satisfaction; it compromises professionalism, the fiduciary duty clinicians have to their patients. This symposium will cover these very relevant, timely topics and suggest ways to ad­dress them. In addition, the symposium will include two ever-popu­lar challenging ethical cases discussed by an interdisciplinary panel with audience participation.

Additional Information


March 15, 2023 - Stigmatization:  Not for Anyone!

Stigma has recently garnered increased scholarly scrutiny and media attention in light of its notable negative effects on a number of health outcomes.  When patients are stigmatized by the healthcare system, it becomes harder to earn their trust and get their consent to undergo treatment that may benefit them. Patients are stigmatized because clinicians hold a set of negative beliefs about them. Unfortunately, patients can be stigmatized because they have chronic pain, are obese, misuse drugs, are disabled, or refuse to comply with the recommended treatment. This case-based webinar will present a woman who has obesity, substance use disorder, and paraplegia. She has found it very difficult to get the respectful, complex care she needs. Participants will see the harmful effects of stigmatization through her eyes, learn why it is so important to eliminate stigmatization in healthcare, and receive practical strategies on how to do so. 

Additional Information

 For more information on these programs, call Linda McMillen at 1-304-293-7618.