- There is increasing recognition of the stress and burnout suffered by critical care workers. Physicians have a responsibility to teach learners the skills required not only to treat patients, but to cope with the demands of a stressful profession. Humor has been neglected as a strategy to help learners develop into virtuous and resilient physicians. Humor can be used to reduce stress, address fears, and to create effective health care teams. However, there are forms of humor which can be hurtful or discriminatory. In order to maximize the benefits of humor and to reduce its harms, we need to teach and model the effective and virtuous use of humor in the intensive care unit.