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A singing oncologist takes on topic of medical burnout in new musical

Prior to entering the medical field and practicing in Minnesota, Dr. Stuart Bloom was a singing comedian in New York City.

MINNEAPOLIS — Most weeks, you can catch Dr. Stuart Bloom at Masonic Cancer Center treating patients or teaching students at University of Minnesota Medical School as an assistant professor. But Wednesday through Sunday, he'll be taking the stage at The Southern Theatre in Minneapolis, starring in a musical about burnout in the medical field.

In "How to Avoid Burnout in 73 Minutes," Dr. Bloom – a former New York City singing comedian-turned-oncologist – opens up about the pressures of being a busy physician in her previous practice in the Twin Cities, facing pressure from insurance companies and medical administrators. Through 12 original songs and with the help of an actor playing his inner voice, Dr. Bloom fills out a medical questionnaire on burnout. It's a feeling he knows well, especially in the medical field.

"The culture of medicine is changing. There's a lot of inefficiencies with dealing with the electronic medical records – there's all these things that are part of burnout," Dr. Bloom said. "The culture of medicine has to change. Otherwise, there's going to be nobody practicing medicine."

However, hopes to inspire those outside the medical community as well.

"It resonates with so many people," he said. "Sometimes people see that there is a huge chasm between what they wanted and what they have. And how did we get here? How did I get to this point? I think I'm proof that we can assess that and go, 'how can we stop this?'"

The show starts at Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. and runs through Sunday,. April 23. Tickets online are sold out, but the show's producers say limited tickets may be available in-person at the box office.


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