Stop Physician Burnout - Two Kinds of Habits - Beyond Good and Bad

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

"The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit." ~ Bryant McGill

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This is Blog Post #282

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Habits are powerful behavior patterns with predictable results. To change your practice and your quality of life, you must change your habits.

Repeat the Same Action => You will always get the Same Result
That is a Habit and that is also Einstein's Insanity Trap.

Some Habits produce desirable results.
We call those Good Habits

Some Habits produce undesirable results.
We typically call those Bad Habits - weaknesses, foibles, character flaws, "the human condition", addictions, Achille's heels.

These are both habits of DOING
Things You DO that are either good or bad

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Tags: stop physician burnout, habits, einsteins insanity definition

Why did we let Electronic Medical Records cause Physician Burnout? It should have been a simple Staffing Issue.

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Every time you survey a group of physicians on their biggest stressors, Electronic Medical Records is a clear #1.

Why is that? Why are the implementation of electronic medical records and the dramatic increase in physician burnout synchronous?

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This is Blog Post #281

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In my work with over 140 healthcare organizations to date, the answer is plain as day on nearly every job site I have visited:

This is simple OVERWHELM - in the front lines of patient care, there is too much work and not enough hands on deck

The whirlwind of EMR has destroyed many physician's ability to be effective at the point of care. It is a constant distraction to quality decisions, effective communication and a clear threat to the health and wellbeing of the physicians and their staff members.

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Key Resource:
The Burnout Prevention Strategy Engine
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Electronic Medical Records and other sources of digital overload (texts, email, patient portals, cell phone apps) have changed the nature of a physician's work and massively increased the number of tasks at the point of care. Studies show doctors spend up to two hours in the EMR for every hour of face time with patients.

It would be No Big Deal if the healthcare industry had done the most appropriate thing ... increased staffing levels to handle the increased workload. With rare exception, employers have simply dumped the data entry responsibilities on the doctors and other front line staff.

This is a completely avoidable crisis.

Ineffective management of digital overload has turned EMR into a Physician Burnout Issue ...
when it should simply be a Staffing Issue !!

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Tags: stop physician burnout, electronic medical records, emr, Team Based Care

Silly things Physician Leaders say about Physician Burnout - Part Two

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

"Everything was O.K. around here until you showed up"

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This is Blog Post #280

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This is Part Two of a series of 
Silly Things Physician Leaders Sometimes Say

Someone in the senior leadership team will often aim that comment at you after the successful launch of your burnout prevention program. I consider it a healthy sign for your organization. Senior leaders do not always share my viewpoint. 

Here is the simple - and silly - thinking behind that statement:

  • Before your burnout prevention program launch no one talked about stress and burnout.
  • Now everyone is talking about it and offering suggestions for improvements. 
  • So it must be your fault, right?
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Tags: prevent physician burnout, physician leadership

Investing in Physician Wellbeing brings a Dual Competitive Advantage

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

The Business Case for Investing in Physician Wellbeing - a Dual Competitive Advantage for Early Adopters

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This is Blog Post #279

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In 2017 an article in JAMA Internal Medicine by Shanafelt, Goh and Sinsky (JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(12):1826-1832) made a comprehensive business case for investing in physician well-being. I highly recommend the article. The UCSD HEAR Program has mounted the full PDF document at this link. I recommend you read and absorb every word.

In this blog post let me show you a different way of looking at the benefits to the organization of taking better care of your physicians and staff. 

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The Current State of Affairs

For the individual physician burnout can cause emotional and physical exhaustion, compassion fatigue, cynicism, loss of a sense of purpose in their practice, depression, alcohol and drug use, divorce, shortening of their career and even doubles all physician's risk of dying of suicide - regardless of their gender.

Organizational symptoms of burnout include decreased quality of care and patient satisfaction, higher medical error rates, higher rates of malpractice suits, physician disengagement, dissatisfaction and disruptive behavior and higher turnover for both physicians and staff.

Remember too that burnout prevalence in US physicians in the last 4 years or so has hovered at 50% or more regardless of what group of physicians have been surveyed. Now notice something else ... 

How is it you can read those paragraphs and NOT BE PULLING YOUR HAIR OUT and telling your friends and family not to go to the doctor or hospital until we FIGURE THIS OUT?????

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Tags: physician leadership, physician wellbeing, Physician burnout, physician resilience

The Whirlwind of the Practice of Medicine - Seven Ways to Step Out

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

All doctors practice medicine from within the center of a powerful whirlwind

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This is Blog Post #278
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Your practice is a mini-tornado of:

  • Repetitive actions with your patients and staff
  • Thousands of clicks and keystrokes in documentation
  • Competing demands for your attention from email/text/voicemail
  • And dozens of decisions, some of which actually involve life and death

And that's a slow day ... right?

It is a legitimate whirlwind - a Dorothy-on-the-Kansas-prairie twister that can tie you up in knots and even make you forget you forgot lunch ... sometimes. That same whirlwind is a core cause of physician burnout too.

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Related:
Our Complete Burnout Prevention Tools Library
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How is Your Whirlwind Feeling These Days?

You get to decide how satisfied you are with your practice. You can do that right now quite simply - even though you have been conditioned to NOT ask yourself questions like these:

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Tags: stop physician burnout, physician practice satisfaction, einsteins insanity definition

Stop Physician Burnout Key Personal Defense Skills Podcast with Taylor Brana MD at TheHappyDoc

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout Key Personal Defense Skills Podcast - Complete Your Medical Education 

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This is Blog Post #277
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Lower your stress levels, build more life balance and a more Ideal Practice. Complete your medical education and learn to recognize and prevent burnout in yourself and others.

Had a really good first conversation with Taylor Brana over at TheHappyDoc. In it we go over a number of the basic patterns in burnout risks and burnout prevention we have learned in our work with thousands of burned out physicians in our coaching practices. Great to be able to share and Taylor is allowing me to mount the podcast here on our website as well. Enjoy,

 

TRANSCRIPT:

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Tags: stop physician burnout, physician burnout podcast

Stop Physician Burnout - Organizations Doomed to Fail if They Only Treat Burnout Symptoms

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout - Treating the Symptoms only Makes Burnout Worse

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This is Blog Post #276
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Physician burnout has two sets of symptoms

  • One for the Doctor - the personal signs and symptoms that YOU are suffering from burnout as an individual
  • One for the Organization - the various way rising levels of physician burnout destroy the performance and morale of a population of healthcare providers

For the individual physician, here is one of our most popular posts on burnout's symptoms and gender differences.

In this blog post, let me show you three quick observations from our work with over 140 healthcare organizations and societies to date:

  • The common organizational symptoms of burnout
  • How and why most groups only treat the symptoms of provider burnout
  • And why just treating the symptoms inevitably makes everything worse
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Tags: stop physician burnout, physician leadership

Silly things physician leaders say about Physician Burnout - Part One

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

"We can't talk about physician burnout, everyone will go part time"

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This is Blog Post #275
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This article kicks off a mini-series of blog posts documenting my experience of Silly Things Physician Leaders Say About Physician Burnout. This first example is a great place to begin - a surprisingly frequent CMO/CEO exclamation - often used as justification for continued attempts to ignore the obvious presence of physician burnout.

[ Key Resource: CLICK HERE for our Corporate Support Services ]

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"We can't talk about physician burnout, everyone will go part time"

That is a major subconscious fear of some healthcare administrators and physician leaders. Sometimes they will actually say these same words to your face. If you happen to be the wellness champion in your organization, that statement is usually part of a paragraph that includes "things were OK around here until you showed up".

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Tags: stop physician burnout, physician wellness, physician leadership

Physician Leadership: a Simple Communication Tool to Avoid the Disruptive Doctor Label

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

physician-leadership-communication-stop-disruptive-physician-disruptive-doctor-labelPhysician Leadership:
A Simple Communication Tool to Avoid the Disruptive Doctor Label
(video training)

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This is Blog Post #274
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If you invite physicians into your management or leadership meetings, we will diagnose the problems in the system of care with the same speed and skill we diagnose disease in our patients.

Sooner or later we will also run into any number of situations that qualify as hypocrisy: where the organization says one thing and does something completely different.

Nothing in this world upsets a physician leader more than hypocrisy. 

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Related:
Download the full Disruptive Physician Toolkit Here
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We see it right away, like a flashing red light. It drives us to shout, thump tables, foam at the lips and more. This undisciplined behavior results in many doctors being labeled a "disruptive physician" and their completely legitimate concerns downplayed or ignored by the other senior leaders at the table. This outright dismissal of legitimate concerns can be a major cause of physician burnout for some doctors.

Here is a Simple Communication Tool to Completely Avoid Being Labeled Disruptive and get your concerns addressed.

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Tags: physician leadership, columbo, leadership communication, disruptive doctor, disruptive physician toolkit, Physician leadership lesson, physician leadership video lesson, physician leadership video

Maternal Discrimination in Medicine - Blatant form of healthcare gender bias documented in two new studies

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Maternal Discrimination in Medicine - Blatant form of healthcare gender bias documented in two new studies

Two studies released this week felt like dueling head slaps as they rolled through social media. Both document a slight twist on the typical gender bias against women that is pervasive in the world of medical education and the practice of medicine.

These two studies were not just about healthcare bias against women for being women - the "Curse of the Double X" I have written about before. This garden variety gender bias plays a huge role in physician burnout for many women physicians in my coaching practice.

These articles lay out a different flavor of bias against women - specifically because of a super power most carry at all times. I am talking about the THREAT OF FECUNDITY.

I always make a point of asking the women physicians at our live trainings if any man has ever said this to their face, "I don't know why we let women go to medical school, you are just going to quit and have babies."

How many say, "Yes"?

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Tags: gender bias in healthcare workplace, maternal discrimination in medicine, stop physician burnout

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