Stop Physician Burnout - Two Little Voice Danger Signs

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Two danger signs of physician burnout from that Little Voice inside your  head.

You know that voice. In cartoons it is often depicted as an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. When you tune in to that inner voice, it is easy to notice it talks pretty much all the time. 

Mostly random thoughts, feelings, worry, memories.

Sometimes though, it gives you a message that has meaning here and now. In our coaching practice, we have noticed two specific inner voice phrases that are nearly universal in physicians as the tip over the edge and into burnout.

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These two phrases are clear warnings of overload and potential burnout. Ignore them at your peril.

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Tags: stop physician burnout, little voice

White Coat Wellness Podcast | Episode 12 | Beyond Physician Burnout

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout Podcast with Shane Tenny CFP

The financial planning firm of Spaugh Dameron Tenny hosts the whitecoat wellness podcast. I was a guest last week and we covered a lot of ground. Here's the podcast link. The transcript is below and here is some of what we covered.

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Stop Physician Burnout Podcast Transcript:

Shane Tenny CFP and Dike Drummond MD, CEO TheHappyMD.com

Topics:

  • Symptoms, complications and prevalence of physician burnout
  • The causes of our modern physician burnout epidemic
  • How to prevent burnout
  • Coaching as a treatment and prevention method
  • How organizations can play a role in burnout prevention

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Tags: physician burnout podcast, stop physician burnout

Electronic Medical Record Industry Corruption Costs Billions, Puts Patients at Risk

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

All doctors know EMR is a pain and a leading cause of physician burnout ... 

.. but few of us grasp the the depth of the depravity in the Electronic Health Industry until now.

New investigative reporting is shining the light of day on a backwater of fraud, cheating and lies that surrounded the roll out of EMR starting in 2009.

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Starting that year, $38 Billion dollars in subsidies for installation of EMR software and attestation to its "meaningful use" have been allocated by the federal government. The response of the EMR industry to that size pile of money was equivalent to giving a school of great white sharks the carcass of a dead blue whale. A similar feeding frenzy ensued. 


A significant portion of the EMR industry's response to these stimulus funds appears to have been illegal, harmful or both.  

New reporting by Fortune Magazine and Kaiser Health News is collating all the settlements and whistleblower cases into one article so we can all witness the Soprano-style attack on this facet of our healthcare industry.

Turns out some players in the industry constructed a maze of fraud, lies and kickbacks - to the tune of billions of dollars so far. (Tony would have been so proud)

That's right, multi-million dollar systemic and protracted cheating and lying in the EMR industry - already caught, prosecuted and settled for over a billion dollars in fines and claw backs to date

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Tags: electronic medical record, stop physician burnout, electronic health record, healthcare industry corruption

Stop Physician Burnout - Resident Education and the Teachable Moment

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

A recent burnout prevention training for residents revealed the importance of the teachable moment for their future employers.

Here's how I learned this important lesson:

There are some things doctors can't really learn until the time is right -- and residency may not be that right time -- no matter how much we wish it was.

I just delivered a half day retreat for a group of residents a large east coast independent academic medical center. In planning the event, I sifted through my experience coaching hundreds of doctors who burned out after residency ... when they were in practice. I was looking for a short list of skills to answer this question:

"Given what burns out practicing physicians, what can I teach these residents now that could prevent their burnout in the future?"

Back to the future

Basically I envisioned myself as a representative of these residents future selves, coming back to teach them the tools they need to avoid physician burnout when they are out in practice.

  • So I put together a three training, four hour event
  • Delivered the trainings
  • And watched carefully to see how they landed with the residents
  • What were they able to pick up and use right away?
  • What concepts/tools went over their head?
  • What appeared to useful and what appeared to be useless at this point in their careers?

My experience gives us all some information to answer the Teachable Moment Question:

Is residency the best place to teach the tools to prevent burnout from happening when these doctors are out in practice?

Or is there a better teachable moment?

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Tags: stop physician burnout, medical resident burnout, teachable moment

Does National Academy Consensus Statement set stage for a Physician Wellness Turning Point?

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Will recent recommendations of the National Academy of Medicine cause meaningful action to address the burnout epidemic?

What do you think?
 
What are the odds this six pound consensus statement will change your daily experience of seeing patients and dealing with the digital Whirlwind of your work day any time soon?
  • Will we look back 10 years from now and say 2020 is when everything changed?
  • Do calls for a "positive work environment" mean anything when there are no recommendations on HOW to accomplish that feat? 
  • What happens in the C-suite when this call to address physician burnout clashes with the organization's drive to maximize profit and shareholder value? (even non-profits must have a margin!)
Those questions will only be answered in hindsight, years from now.
 
And we believe it is important you see and understand the recommendations being made on your behalf by this impressive gathering of "experts".
 
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In this blog post let's do two things:

1) Look at a sampling of specific recommendations and what they could mean to you. I promise to focus only on those few sentences in the 300 pages most likely to effect you directly.

2) Give you a copy of the full recommendations so you can do two things:

    1. Print off two copies and carry them with you at all times.
    2. So when the opportunity arises, you can drop them on your CEO/CMO/CFO's desk and ask that they be adopted in your organization. If your boss can be influenced by consensus statements like this, you want to be ready for their teachable moment
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Tags: physician wellness, stop physician burnout, physician wellbeing, clinician wellbeing

Use the Physician Breakthrough Process to make 2020 Your Best Year Yet

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Toss the New Year's Resolutions ... these ten questions can make 2020 ... your Best Year Yet.

Wrap a bow around all your accomplishments and milestones for 2019.
Give yourself a solid pat on the back.
Then, set your intentions for 2020.

Our 10-question breakthrough process takes only about an hour to complete and can make a huge difference for you and your family in the year ahead.

Use This Link to get your copy of the Physician's 2020 Breakthrough Worksheet (2579 downloads to date!)

No rush. Grab the worksheet download with the link below and print it out.
You will have plenty of time to work the questions at your leisure in the week
and weekend ahead.

This is our fifth year sharing the Physician Breakthrough Process

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Tags: stop physician burnout, physician breakthrough process

ZDogg on being a Physician, Money and Escaping the Healthcare Grind

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Here is Dr. Zubin Damania's take on the intersection of happiness and the experience of being a hospitalist

Please Leave a Comment 

How does his message and his story resonate with you?

 

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Tags: stop physician burnout, Zubin Damania, Z Dogg

First Call for Legal Action to address the Physician Burnout Epidemic

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Will the government step in and legislate proactive efforts to stop physician burnout?

As we predicted several weeks ago, it is only a matter of time before the cry for legislative action would go out. And rightfully so:

  • Physician burnout has been characterized as a public health crisis for years
  • Given the negative effects of burnout on safety, quality, medical errors and physician's mental health ... it is clear that unrecognized burnout kills patients and doctors
  • The prevalence of burnout is staggering here in the age of EMR - over 50% in many studies
  • And the majority of healthcare organizations who employ doctors make no meaningful investment in physician wellbeing. Lip service is rampant, but significant FTE and dollars for burnout prevention are exceedingly rare.

Sooner or later, someone was bound to shout, "there should be a law about this." That non-specific call for action happened here back in July.

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Learn an Effective Corporate Physician Wellness Strategy
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Let's take it up a notch

Now we have specific calls for specific carrots and sticks from a bona fide legal scholar.

Sharona Hoffman, , JD, LLM, SJD; Professor of Law and Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University, has written an editorial in the latest Hastings Center Report

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Tags: stop physician burnout, laws against burnout

Physician Burnout, Patient Satisfaction and the Good Doctor

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Why is it so darn difficult for people to see you are a good doctor these days?

We both know you are a good doctor. When it comes to diagnosing and treating your patient's diseases and chief complaints, you do a great job. None of us devoted our 20's to med school and residency to be a crappy doctor, right? 

So why is it so hard for the patients to see that when they are filling out their patient satisfaction surveys?

Why is there such a disparity between your efforts to offer the best medical care and their Press Ganey scores??

ARRRGGHH...

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It takes a while for most physicians to understand the source of this double standard. That is why this whole topic of patient satisfaction is a core cause of physician burnout.

Sooner or later all of us must admit ...
When it comes to the cursed gap between the quality of your Practice of Clinical Medicine and your Patient Satisfaction scores ... 

Your patients can't tell a good doctor from a bad one.

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Tags: Physician burnout, patient satisfaction, press ganey, bedside manner

EMR FAILS and a Dose Response Curve for Physician Burnout Revealed

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

The adoption of the Electronic Medical Record is a clear and obvious cause of physician burnout.

This new study provides three new data points for both providers and healthcare leaders:

  • Evidence of a dose response curve between EMR exposure and physician burnout
  • Objective measurements of EMR usability compared to other unpopular software programs.
  • And an actual letter grade from physicians for EMRs as a group.
    (No surprise here - EMR gets a big fat "F"

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This is all an avoidable tragedy
EMR should have never been a major burnout cause 
It should have been a simple staffing issue
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We consider this paper a MUST READ for all C-Suite Healthcare leaders, Chief Wellness Officers and Wellness Champions

We read the study so you don't have to!
Highlights and commentary below --

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Study Highlights

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Tags: electronic medical records, stop physician burnout, EMR usability


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