To say the past year has been stressful for those working in healthcare is a massive understatement. The coronavirus pandemic infused unprecedented chaos, often leaving hospital personnel at their wits’ end due to overcrowded conditions, lack of PPE, concern for their own safety, and the inability to provide interpersonal care.

It is well established that stress can lead to burnout among physicians, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated the problem. Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of the U.S. physicians who responded to a Medscape survey said the pandemic had intensified their sense of burnout. But stress can also breed conflict in healthcare, especially in cases where organizations lack proper physician support systems.

Since the one leads to the other, let's take a few minutes to talk about productive ways to manage stress before we get to a discussion about conflict management and conflict resolution strategies.

Stress Response and Conflict Management

To borrow a driving analogy...