Physician Burnout - why most physician wellness retreats fail

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout - why most physician wellness retreats fail

Here is the dirty little secret about most physician retreats -- t hey don't work ... pure and simple.

And here is what I mean by "work". You choose a retreat - rather than a straight vacation - because you are longing for something to change about your practice.

But three months after your retreat experience, you look around and notice nothing is any different. Nothing has changed. It is the same old grind and the same feelings of "I don't know how much longer I can keep going like this".

You eventually admit you are still stuck in Einstein's Insanity definition. ARRRGGGHHH

Here's why that happens.

Read More

Tags: physician wellness retreat

Physician Burnout Epidemic Demands Changes in Current CME Policy

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout Epidemic Demands Changes in Current CME Policy

Have you ever tried to get CME authorization for a non-clinical physician training? It is the most frustrating example of a Catch 22 you will find in modern healthcare.

Succinctly put - if a training directly benefits the attendee and their quality of life, it is ineligible for CME credits

If you want to snore your way through, "Common rashes in primary care" or any one of the incomprehensible updates coming from the bleeding edges of medical research ... the CME credits are no more difficult to obtain than a Grande Americano in Starbucks.

[I will obviously acknowledge that clinical, patient-centered CME is the core of maintaining your clincal skills long term ... and let's all admit clinical education is NOT ENOUGH to produce a happy, healthy, balanced and productive modern doctor.]

We recently applied for 9 hours of CME credit for our Heart of the Healer Retreat coming up in September. We were given 6 hours of credit and denied the remaining three specifically because,"the training will benefit the physician attendees".

The burnout epidemic is a powerful sign that current medical education is failing physicians in the front lines - in medical school, residency AND in CME training for practicing doctors. 

Physicians everywhere need burnout prevention training now.

Read More

Remembering the History of Medicine - the Teatro Anatomico

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Sometimes, when you are feeling down about the stresses of modern medicine, it can be a small comfort to remember how far we have come as a profession

From the four humors and leeches to the "magic" we are sometimes able to perform on behalf of our patients. Here is a blast from the past for sure. 

Watch the short video below for a tour of one of the first anatomy dissection teaching theaters, build in 1637 - the TEATRO ANATOMICO

The carved, wooden ampitheater is on the campus of the oldest continously operating university in the world - the University of Bologna, in Bologna, Italy.

The "Spilatti", wooden statues of skinless men, adorn the "pulpit" where the instructor lectured as the dissection progressed. Galen and Hippocrates watch over the students from the walls and Apollo hangs from the ceiling. And you won't believe the walls of the lecture halls or the size of the stacks of literally ANCIENT texts. 

Read More

Tags: Physician burnout

Stop Physician Burnout Video - Tour of the Grand Canal of Venice

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

One of the most overlooked components of your strategy to prevent physician burnout is to make sure you take regular long vacations - two weeks every other year at a minimum. A previous blog post shows you a foolproof method to get your vacations scheduled and implemented. 

We also recommend you shoot for your bucket list whenever you can, to get the most of your time away from your practice.

Here is one of Sherri and my bucket list items for sure. Come along with us on a sunset ride down the Grand Canal in Venice on the #1 vaporetto from Piazza Roma to St. Marks Square. 

--- make sure to grab your favorite beverage and display this full screen ---

Sit back, relax and enjoy ... then get busy planning YOUR next vacation.

Read More

Tags: Physician burnout

Physician Burnout: The problem with complaining about the system - Seth Godin

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout and The problem with complaining about the system - By Seth Godin that the system can't hear you. Only people can.

And the problem is that people in the system are too often swayed to believe that they have no power over the system, that they are merely victims of it, pawns, cogs in a machine bigger than themselves.

Alas, when the system can't hear you, and those who can believe they have no power, nothing improves.

Systems don't mistreat us, misrepresent us, waste our resources, govern poorly, support an unfair status quo and generally screw things up--people do.

If we care enough, we can make it change."

~ Seth Godin


I could not have said this better myself - especially as it applies to Physician Burnout

The system is a snapshot in time of "the way we do things around here". It is not an autonomous and immutable reality holding you under its thumb.

When you complain about the system - blaming everything on forces beyond your control, Obamacare, Big Data or anything you believe to be outside your control - and fail to change what you are doing -- you fall right back into the bear trap of Einstein's Insanity Definition.

Read More

Tags: Physician burnout

Prevent Physician Burnout - you deserve a two week vacation

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout and Vacation – 3 Power Tools

In this post you will learn

  1. Why regular vacations are essential to prevent physician burnout (and to the quality of your love life!)
  2. Power tools to ensure you take a big one – at least two weeks - at least every other year
  3. How to build and maintain your boundaries while you are away
  4. A simple method to avoid Einstein’s Insanity Trap when you return home


Will you take the Two Week Vacation Challenge?

I challenge you to the following:

1) Show your significant other this blog post

2) Use the tools below to book your two week vacation

3) Leave a Comment - tell us where you are going and how it feels to have it on your schedule at last - in the comment form at the very bottom of this page.


Avoid this tragedy

At each of our Burnout Proof live trainings I will ask the doctors present (usually several hundred of them), "raise your hand if you have not taken a two week vacation in the last two years" … unfortunately the response is always the same. About two thirds of them will slowly and reluctantly raise their arm limply into the air. This is a true tragedy, here is why …

Unless you take a two-week vacation at least every other year -- it is very easy for you and your significant other to forget who you really are

Read More

Tags: Physician burnout, physician vacation

General Surgery Resident Burnout Prevalence at 69% !

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

General Surgery Resident Burnout Survey shows prevalence of 69%

A just released study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons surveyed all 258 US General Surgery Residency Programs  - and all 1224 residents - for the presence of burnout symptoms. 

Read More

Tags: resident physician burnout

Our Client - Avera Health - wins national physician wellbeing award

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

National Recognition for Our Client Avera Health in Sioux Falls !!

Our clients Avera Health in Sioux Falls, South Dakota just won the  2016 Medicus Integra Award from the Coalition for Physician Wellbeing.

In 2014 we collaborated with Avera to provide 8 full onsite training days for their regional hub hospitals and launched their Burnout Prevention Working Group which they call the LIGHT Committee. The letters stand for 

Read More

Tags: physician wellbeing

Physician Burnout and the Mechanics of Mindfulness

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout and the Mechanics of Mindfulness

Since the 1970's, studies have shown that Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an effective tool to lower the stress of the practice of medicine and prevent physician burnout. Jon Kabat-Zinn and the pioneers at U Mass have proven that physicians who take their eight week meditation and yoga training have superior resilience skills and subsequent studies over the last 40 years have repeatedly confirmed their initial observations. 

In reviewing this literature, two big questions come to mind for most doctors.

1) Just how does mindfulness cause its therapeutic effect?

2) Is eight weeks of meditation training the ONLY way to be mindful at work?

Let me take a stab at some answers coming from three different levels of experience:

  • My own personal mindfulness practice
  • One-on-one coaching work with hundreds of burned out doctors
  • Teaching mindfulness to thousands of physicians in live trainings


1) The Mechanics of Mindfulness

First, let's get clear on a definition of mindfulness. Here is a commonly accepted one: "Being present to what is happening here and now. Releasing thoughts and feelings that keep you from this present moment, without judgment."

The ultimate result of being mindful is you give this moment, this person in front of you, this task, your Undivided Attention.

Quick question:
Have you ever had any of these experiences? 

Read More

Tags: mindfulness based stress relief

Of Course Physician Burnout is a Public Health Issue

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

physician-burnout-public-health-issue-2.jpgOf course Physician Burnout is a Public Health Issue !!

A recent video post on Medscape by Art Caplan PhD from the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University Langone Medical Center calls out Physician Burnout as a public health crisis. The 426 comments on the post attest to the chord this struck with physicians across the country. 

I totally agree ...

  • If HIV is a public health issue
  • If lead poisoning is a public health issue
  • If infant car seats are a public health issue

Then physician burnout should be recognized as a public health issue in any setting where physicians take care of patients.

Here's why ...

Read More

Tags: Physician burnout, public health issue


Subscribe to Email Updates