Dike Drummond MD

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Putting Physician Burnout to its Highest and Best Use

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Is there a way that Physician Burnout could be a Good Thing?

The key lies in asking that question to people on the far side of their episode of burnout. When you have survived the downward spiral and come out whole on the other side, do you look back and see it as a positive experience. 

The unexpected answer is always, "Yes".

In this short video let me show you how to put stress, frustration, confusion and physician burnout to its Highest and Best Use. 

Burnout is here for a reason. Let me show you what to do NOW so that years from now you look back at this time as the turning point to a much better reality. 

Here's the next lesson:
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Tags: stop physician burnout

Stop Physician Burnout - Delegate Your Punch List

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout - Delegate Your Punch List for the shortest path to a better quality of life

You know your Punch List ... right? It is that to-do list of tasks to complete at home. Things like clean the house, mow the lawn, balance the checkbook, fix the door hinge on the closet, find an outfit for the office party next weekend ... etc. etc.

It's that list you scrawl on a spare piece of paper containing all the routine activities of monthly living we each must take responsibility for. It is that list you worry about, fret over and never seem to get through for a simple reason ... you are busy taking care of patients, documentation and all the other activities of being a doctor.

They pile up on the list and proceed to suck you dry on your off days -- when you try to complete as many as possible in your "free time". They take up WAY TOO MUCH of your down time -- your recharge time - your LIFE.

Work is busy enough. Ideally home is relaxing ... NOT just a different flavor of overwhelm.

In this blog post let me show you a way to rapidly restore a sense of balance and control by delegating your punch list to people who are more qualified, are eager to help you and can free you up to grow and maintain a real life outside of work. 

I will show you our Master List of delegatable tasks and a Six Step Plan to Get Started Now. 

Understand one thing -- this is the shortest path to a better quality of life.

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Tags: stop physician burnout, delegate your punch list, punch list

Stop Physician Burnout - Money can buy happiness

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout - New research shows money can by happiness if you spend like this ...

A trio of new studies released this month give us research evidence to answer the age old question, "Can money buy happiness?"

They give us a glimpse into a fundamental relationship between TIME - MONEY and HAPPINESS we can use to our advantage to prevent physician burnout, because ... 

Every study came to the same conclusion

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Tags: stop physician burnout, money can buy happiness

Stop Physician Burnout: Dealing Effectively with Negative Emotions

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout: Dealing Effectively with Negative Emotions

Like the layers of an onion, physician burnout is often wrapped in layers of negative emotions. In this post, let me show you a simple technique - it only takes 15 seconds - to release negative emotions as they arise and become the authentic eye of the storm in your practice day.

Peeling back the layers of the onion of bad feelings

If you find yourself overwhelmed, exhausted and out of balance with your practice -- after all your years of training and hard work, and this isn't anything like what you dreamed of back in the day ... well that recognition just feels bad.

And then you notice that the fact you feel bad about your career - well that feels bad too. 

[Related: Become the Eye of the Storm in your Practice Day]

Many physicians then begin to wonder about the source of this distressing situation. The little voice in your head might kick in by whispering:

What's wrong with you? You are a successful doctor. You have nothing to complain about. You can take this. Quit whining and get back to work. Your patients come first, dang it.

And if you do begin to take better care of yourself -- start creating a little bit of life balance and building some recharge activities into your week -- a different negative emotion often comes knocking at the door of your awareness ... GUILT.

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Tags: Physician burnout, mindfulness, release negative emotions

Physician Heal Thyself - NOT - do these things instead

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

"Physician heal thyself "
Luke 4:23

This bible quote is the single most inappropriate phrase uttered in any conversation about physician burnout.

  Often it masquerades as a witty comeback when blaming a physician for being a human being.

IMHO, these three words are not applicable to anything about the causes or prevention of physician burnout.

To look a suffering doctor in the eye and harummph "physician heal thyself" is the apex of hypocrisy - especially if the speaker is not a doctor - and it needs to stop now. 

In this blog post let me show you why this meme is completely off the mark -- and five actions you can take that will actually prevent physician burnout -- much more effectively than any attempt at physician heal thyself - whatever the heck that is supposed to mean. 

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Tags: stop physician burnout, physician heal thyself

Stop Physician Burnout - the Quadruple Aim Prime Directive for Physician Leaders

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout - the Quadruple Aim Prime Directive for Physician Leaders

The modern physician burnout epidemic is a sign that doctors are at a tipping point ... as in tipping over the edge of a cliff. You think burnout is bad now ... project a future where we simply continue dumping additional responsibilities on their backs as usual.

The Quadruple Aim has the potential to turn the tide of stress and burnout, but only if we can bridge the gulf between UNDERSTANDING the Quadruple Aim and actually IMPLEMENTING it.

Let me show you a powerful way to bring the Quadruple Aim to life in your organization with a simple Prime Directive for Healthcare Leaders.

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Tags: physician leadership, stop physician burnout, quadruple aim

Physician Burnout Bibliography and Comprehensive Reference Library

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

The National Academy of Medicine just published the first discussion paper from their Action Collaborative on Clinician Wellbeing and Resilience

And it contains a hidden bonus for all Quadruple Aim savvy change agents.

It is a wide-ranging summary of the issue of Physician Burnout and its negative effects on all aspects of healthcare. 

It ends in classic academic fashion with a prolonged and detailed plea for more research.

Perhaps the most fascinating part of the whole paper is a comprehensive list of physician burnout study references - by far the largest I have ever seen. I share them with you here if you ever find yourself in need of a study to "prove" burnout's negative effects and convince leadership to take a stand for the Quadruple Aim.

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Tags: Physician burnout, physician burnout bibliograpy

Stop Physician Burnout - is Physician Resilience Training a "Con"

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout - is Physician Resilience Training a "Con Job?"

An article on physician suicide in junior Australian doctors this week contained the following bold statement:

'She was eaten alive'

The "con" of building physician resilience has left junior doctors vulnerable to mental illness and suicide by ignoring the systemic failures of the medical professionSpeaking at a session on mental health and wellbeing in Sydney alongside Health Minister Brad Hazzard, Ms Micaela Abbott said her sister was "eaten alive" by the medical profession. 

Dr. Chloe Abbott was 29 and a fourth-year doctor-in-training when she died in January, one of several recent suicides by doctors that prompted the Health Minister and the medical profession to act. 

"My family had really detested the term 'resilience'," Ms Abbott said, recounting her sister's fortitude as a champion swimmer who represented Australia in international competition. 

"That's not something you can do without resilience," she told the crowd of students about to join the profession that Dr Abbott's family and colleagues believed contributed to her death. "

Here is the full article:

It, of course, begs the question -- is the concept of Physician Resilience a con job to defend a hostile work environment?

The answer is Yes and No.

Resilience is necessary but insufficient to prevent physician burnout and hard wire the Quadruple Aim into the workplace.

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Tags: Physician burnout, physician resilience

Stop Physician Burnout: 3 Things Men can do to end Unconscious Gender Bias in the Healthcare Workplace

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout: 3 Things Men can do to End Unconscious Gender Bias in the Healthcare Workplace

With more women graduating from medical schools and residency programs every year, the healthcare workplace is becoming more and more gender diverse at the top. It is extremely rare these days to see a wing/ward/department that is staffed 100% with male physicians. With some of our corporate clients, these days employee physician groups can actually have female physicians in a clear majority. 

With this gender shift in full swing, you would think unconscious gender bias against women would be rolling towards extinction ... dwindling away and dying with a whimper as the shards of the glass ceiling tumble to the floor ... right? Not so in my experience. 

I have previously written about unconscious workplace gender bias directed against female physicians here.

In this post, let me show you three simple actions male physicians can take to dramatically reduce the unconscious gender bias in your workplace. Two of the three are simply things to stop doing.  

If you are a woman, please read on to make sure you are not guilty of any of these gender bias reinforcing behaviors yourself. 

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Tags: stop physician burnout, gender bias in healthcare workplace, gender bias, Unconscious gender bias

Physician Burnout - What to do When the Thrill is Gone

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout - what to do when the Thrill is Gone

Remember back to your first clinical rotations in medical school ... how exciting it was to finally be face to face with live patients. Bedside conversations, recognizing skin lesions and the signs of CHF. What a thrill it all was. Remember?

How much does the word THRILL apply to your feelings about your practice ... now?

In the last month, how often did you say to yourself in a quiet moment, "wow, that was really cool" about a patient, a diagnosis, a procedure, a conversation with a family member or member of your staff? I sincerely hope you run out of fingers to count them all up.

However, if that is not true for you - if the thrill is gone or you can feel it slipping away - what can be done about it? Can you get the thrill back?

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Tags: Physician burnout

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