Fall 2023

Members & Publications


The Importance of Practicing Gratitude

Tyler Farley frame


  Tyler Farley, MD
PM&R Spine Fellow
  Cleveland Clinic


An article recently published on Physician ON FIRE, “Top 5 Reasons Why Physicians are Leaving their Jobs in 2023: Based on a Survey of 1,639 Doctors,” stated that 59% of physicians quit their job due to burnout.  One of the four key contributing factors to burnout was not feeling valued at work.  Unfortunately, the phrase, “no good deed goes unpunished,” often rings true, and it can feel like being nice has more negative consequences than positive.  Comprehending the impact of the lack of gratitude can serve to illustrate the importance of incorporating gratitude into your daily life.  

According to American short story writer, Cynthia Ozick, “We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”  To display gratitude regularly, I believe you must first take note of what others are doing for you, however small the act may seem.  If you passively go through the day, it is easy to dismiss what others are doing as part of their job.  However, if you make a conscious effort to see what people are doing to help your day go smoothly, you soon realize how many acts are deserving of appreciation.  For example, the following are a few examples of things for which I am thankful daily as an interventional spine and musculoskeletal medicine fellow: when someone takes note of my glove size and has them opened for me before the procedures, reminders when I nearly always forget to put on my lead glasses, patients allowing trainee participation, and the summary of information from the rooming process.  

Regardless of our level of training, from medical student to attending, we are leaders of healthcare teams and have a duty to motivate our fellow team members to provide the best care possible.  The reception of gratitude cultivates a sense of purpose and fulfillment in our jobs.  Jack Mitchell’s book, Hug Your People, conveys the impact of gratitude on an organization.  If employees are treated as if they make a difference to the company, they will be motivated to truly make a difference.  Showing gratitude takes little effort, but makes an enormous impact through social leadership, bringing happiness to co-workers’ jobs and lives.