Dike Drummond MD

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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

This is Blog Post #276
Complete Blog Library is Here

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

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"

This is Blog Post #275
Complete Blog Library is Here

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 ]


"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".


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)

This is Blog Post #274
Complete Blog Library is Here

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. 

Download the full Disruptive Physician Toolkit Here

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.


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"?


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

How to Prevent Physician Burnout as Simply as Possible

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
~ Albert Einstein

[ The Quadruple Aim Physician Leadership Retreat is Here ]

Physician Burnout - Praying for a one-step solution is human nature and a trap!

One of the key features of physician burnout - or any supremely uncomfortable life circumstance - is a desire to run away, escape, make the pain stop. When you are deep in the downward spiral, your mind drops to its knees and prays for a simple, one-step solution to the agony and despair.

We ask basic questions like:

  1. What can I do to fix/stop/solve this?
  2. How long will it take?

Because our questions are simple, we assume a simple answer will come to our rescue.

That is the first mistake - especially if you are a physician leader looking to prevent physician burnout at a system level. 

We almost always ask the wrong questions.

In this blog post, let me show you the simplest way possible to prevent physician burnout in any healthcare organization that employs physicians. I promise to make it as simple as possible for you, but no simpler. 



Tags: stop physician burnout, burnout prevention strategy, prevent physician burnout

Physician Burnout -Wall Street Journal Article an Insult to US Doctors

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout - Wall Street Journal Article Insults the Plight of US Doctors

This week the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) assigned a staff writer to pen an article on physician burnout. "Hospitals Address Widespread Doctor Burnout" came out on June 9th and IMHO it would be hard to do a worse job of bringing the American public up to speed on the modern burnout epidemic.

Given that physician burnout is the single biggest threat to the health and wellbeing of both the physicians and patients - the atrocious quality of this article is an insult to the healthcare profession.

The real tragedy here is what happens when a burned out doctors sees the issue handled in this manner in the national press. It becomes even easier to give up hope, since no one appears to be taking your concerns, your exhaustion, your heartbreak - even your impulse to abandon medicine altogether - seriously.  

Don't give up just because the WSJ and this writer have never spoken to a burned out doctor and don't have the first clue what they are talking about. There is ALWAYS a way forward 
Our coaches are always available here
The MATRIX 2.0 is here

Reading such drivel ... on such a stage ... realizing the WSJ just totally blew an opportunity to inform the public on the nature and impact of the plague of physician burnout ... is infuriating. 

The article staggers randomly from superficial point to silly quote for just long enough to become truly annoying.

Here are the key take aways from the writers perspective. BTW, if these highlights seem lame/vapid/superficial ... you are beginning to understand just how bad this article is.


Tags: stop physician burnout

Stop Physician Suicide - Bourdain highlights the need for prevention

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician suicide is the most extreme complication of physician  burnout, yet suicides often fly under the radar

Physician suicides are taboo subjects, quickly swept under the rug and subconsciously banned from civilized conversation ... until ... someone popular and famous and well-loved dies in a highly visible suicide. This week it was Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential and host of his Parts Unknown TV series. 

While the world mourns Bourdain, the natural tendency is for all of us to remember someone we lost to suicide in our own lives. For doctors, the person we remember is often a colleague. The whole issue of doctor, resident and medical student suicide gets lost in the larger conversation about the tidal wave of physician burnout. The sad truth is that physician suicide is a known complication of physician burnout and ... 

Whether you are male or female, choosing to become a doctor immediately doubles your suicide rate. 

As the world mourns the unexpected loss of Bourdain, my heart mourns for those doctors, doctors in training, nurses, EMT's and other healthcare workers who also took their lives ... the people whom only you and I remember.

Four Reminders and Action Steps to Prevent Physician Suicide in wake of this week of tragedy:


Tags: physician suicide, stop physician burnout

Stop Physician Burnout: Is blanket genetic testing the straw that breaks the doctor's back?

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout: Is blanket genetic testing the straw that breaks the doctor's back?

Today's sign that the end is near ...
Or the legitimate future of healthcare?? 

Will the doctors survive to see it through?

One of the reasons for the modern epidemic of physician burnout is the leadership habit of piling more and more and more on the backs of the doctors. We survived residency. We can take almost anything. And even the most well conditioned baby boomer workaholic physician has their limits. 

  • The thousands of clicks and key strokes of the modern EMR, text messages, emails and other InBox work. Maybe you even deal with 2 or three different EMRs each week.
  • The various quality indicators and patient satisfaction requirements, HCAPS, MOC and more
  • Dealing with the chaos in the insurance markets and continuous mergers and acquisitions

The default setting for any new task is always, "let the doctors take care of it". No one appears to be asking the Quadruple Aim Question: "What effect will this have on the health and wellbeing of the providers."

I believe we just got a peek at what our collective Last Straw might look like just this week - and it is a sneaky one for sure. This would appear to be a good thing on the surface - good for the patients. And you are going to have to convince me this is not a legitimate Last Straw for the doctors. Ready? Drum roll please ... 

This Week the Geisinger healthcare system decided they would provide free DNA sequencing for all patients !!


Tags: stop physician burnout, can of worms, genetic testing, genome, precision medicine

Stop Physician Burnout - Always be Building a More Ideal Practice

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout by continuously building a more Ideal Practice ... here's how

In this brief video lesson (5:28) you will learn a three-step process to always be building a more Ideal Practice. This process is also laid out in our book starting on page 70 and this video training is just one of 48 digital resources in our Burnout Proof APP here.

3 Steps to Building Your Ideal Practice

Stop the Ongoing Loss of Physician Autonomy


Tags: stop physician burnout, physician burnout video training, ideal job description, Ideal practice description

Stop Physician Burnout with the Reverse Differential Diagnosis

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout with the Reverse Differential Diagnosis

Doctors are trained to be diagnosis machines. You plop us down in front of a complete stranger for 10 - 15 minutes and we will diagnose the problem - and be in action to treat it - in somewhere between 5 seconds and 15 minutes. It's what we do dozens of times a day and thousands of times a year in our practice.

We originally learned how to do this in the familiar exercise of Differential Diagnosis

In this post, let me show you how this basic function of a good doctor invisibly robs us of the ability to be happy, content, grateful and relaxed. You will also learn how to turn the process around and perform a Reverse Differential Diagnosis any time you wish -- to find blessings showering you like a thunderstorm any time you step out of your physician programming. 


Tags: stop physician burnout, reverse differential diagnosis

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