Physician Burnout Spreading (Part 2)

A recent article (JC Anderson et al. Am J Gastroenterol 2017; 112:1356–1359; doi: 10.1038/ajg.2017.251; published online 8 August 2017) also addresses the topic of physician burnout with a focus on gastroenterology, link: Strategies to Combat Physician Burnout

Excerpts:

  • Physician burnout has reached epidemic proportions, with 54.4% of physicians reporting at least one burnout symptom in 2014, an increase from 45.5% 3 years earlier
  • A Medscape survey in 2016 showed a burnout rate among gastroenterologists of 49%, up from 41% the year before
  • Key drivers of burnout are excessive workload, an inefficient environment and
    inadequate support, problems with work life integration, loss of value and meaning in work, and the loss of autonomy, flexibilityand control in work 
    The cost of burnout is high, as these physicians are more likely to leave medicine, retire early, make more medical errors, and have lower patient satisfaction scores

Combating Physician Burnout:

  • Leadership : Having good leaders affects the well-being ansatisfaction of physicians in health care organizations
  • Reducing Administrative tasks -scribes, mid-level providers 
  • Control over workflow and work hours
  • “Peer support is crucial, nothing else can replace it.
  • “Physicians who spend at least 20% otheir total effort in an activity that they find most meaningful are at a lower risk for burnout”
  • Self-care: Stress management and mindfulness can reduce burnout

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