“Addressing Physician Burnout”

In the last few years, there have been increasing reports of physician burnout.  A recent report (JAMA. Published online February 9, 2017. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.0076) (thanks to Ben Gold for this reference) provides a concise review of the reasons and potential mitigating strategies.

Full Text Link: “Addressing Physician Burnout”

An excerpt:

Physicians also have to navigate a rapidly expanding medical knowledge base, more onerous maintenance of certification requirements, increased clerical burden associated with the introduction of electronic health records (EHRs) and patient portals, new regulatory requirements (meaningful use, e-prescribing, medication reconciliation), and an unprecedented level of scrutiny (quality metrics, patient satisfaction scores, measures of cost).

These challenges have taken a toll on US physicians. Burnout is a syndrome of exhaustion, cynicism, and decreased effectiveness at work…The first large, national study of burnout among US physicians across all specialties did not occur until 2011. That study of 7288 participating physicians documented that approximately 45% reported at least 1 symptom of burnout and that burnout was more common among physicians than US workers in other fields…

The first large, national study of burnout among US physicians across all specialties did not occur until 2011. That study of 7288 participating physicians documented that approximately 45% reported at least 1 symptom of burnout and that burnout was more common among physicians than US workers in other fields…

Physician burnout has been linked to self-reported errors, turnover, and higher mortality ratios in hospitalized patients…

The current burden of documentation related to the clinical encounter required to meet billing requirements, quality reporting, and separate justification for each test ordered individually is unsustainable…

Individual physicians must also do their part…Individual physicians have a professional responsibility to take care of themselves. Adequate sleep, exercise, and attending to personal medical needs should be considered a minimal standard for self-care. Physicians must also proactively identify personal and professional priorities and take deliberate steps to integrate their personal and professional lives.

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