#142: The Resilient Surgeon S2: Haytham Kaafarani, MD, MPH

December 16, 2022

In this episode, Dr. Michael Maddaus talks with Haytham Kaafarani, MD, MPH, associate professor of trauma and critical care at Massachusetts General Hospital and chief patient safety officer and medical director for The Joint Commission. They discuss Second Victim Syndrome, the often-dramatic psychological impact of an adverse event on the physician—typically operative and one for which the surgeon often feels directly responsible. Dr. Kaafarani is an international expert on second victim due to his direct personal experience with the psychological impact of adverse events, as well as his role in two seminal studies of Second Victim Syndrome in surgeons. 

Listen as Drs. Maddaus and Kaafarani share insights on the emotional toll that an adverse event can take on the life of a surgeon and talk about the importance of peer support for a better recovery. They explore how Dr. Kaafarani became an expert regarding Second Victim Syndrome and how he developed his 5-step peer support program. This discussion will help listeners reflect on their own experiences with major adverse events and understand their part in boosting institutional support. 

“The Resilient Surgeon” is a program from the Society designed to inspire cardiothoracic surgeons to be their best selves, in and out of the OR, using scientifically proven tools and recovery strategies of the world’s top performers.

Learn more about STS wellness efforts at sts.org/wellness.