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BackTable / ENT / Podcast / Episode #179

Decision Fatigue in Medicine

with Dr. Steven Goudy

Part of being a doctor is making high-stakes decisions nearly every day. However, making quality choices becomes even harder when you’re inundated with work and not sure where to start. In this episode, Dr. Steven Goudy, Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology at Emory University (Atlanta), joins host Dr. Gopi Shah to cover decision fatigue.

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Decision Fatigue in Medicine with Dr. Steven Goudy on the BackTable ENT Podcast)
Ep 179 Decision Fatigue in Medicine with Dr. Steven Goudy
00:00 / 01:04

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2024, July 2). Ep. 179 – Decision Fatigue in Medicine [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

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Podcast Contributors

Dr. Steven Goudy discusses Decision Fatigue in Medicine on the BackTable 179 Podcast

Dr. Steven Goudy

Dr. Steven Goudy is the Director of Pediatric Otolaryngology and Professor at Emory University. He is also the CEO and Founder Dr. Nozebest.

Dr. Gopi Shah discusses Decision Fatigue in Medicine on the BackTable 179 Podcast

Dr. Gopi Shah

Dr. Gopi Shah is a pediatric otolaryngologist and the co-host of BackTable ENT.


First, Dr. Goudy defines decision fatigue and explains its relation to clinician burnout. Based on their experience, decision fatigue might look different in an early-career versus a mid-career surgeon, but it will leave both feeling depleted. Then, Dr. Goudy shares strategies to mitigate decision fatigue, including delegation, coaching, and standardization. He uses examples from the business world to illustrate the importance of saying “no” to opportunities you aren’t interested in. Finally, the podcast concludes with a reflection on how your values should guide the choices you make.


00:00 - Introduction
01:32 - Decision Fatigue Defined
03:51 - Personal Strategies to Combat Decision Fatigue
06:10 - Decision Fatigue in the Clinic
24:29 - Decision Fatigue in the Operating Room
29:49 - Decision Fatigue at Home
37:37 - Making Choices that Align with Your Values & The Importance of Saying “No”


Dr. Steven Goudy’s Emory University Profile:

Article on Judges & Decision Fatigue:

Article on Orthopedic Surgeons & Decision Fatigue:

Article on Interruptions in the Trauma OR:

Disclaimer: The Materials available on are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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