Physician Burnout and the Four Phases of Compassion Fatigue

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Compassion Fatigue is one of the psychological consequences of being a doctor

Losing the ability to feel empathy, sympathy and compassion for your patients is a constant risk for all of us.

This is a consequence of your choice to become a Lightworker years ago.

That choice guaranteed our exposure to the trauma, tragedy and agony of our patient's struggles. No one teaches you that compassion is a finite resource that must be regularly refilled or physician burnout is inevitable for all of us.

In this blog post, let me show you

  • why doctors are at unique risk for Compassion Fatigue and burnout ... it is the result of a decision you made long ago
  • how to recognize Compassion Fatigue
  • the four phases of Compassion Fatigue – where do you stand?
  • a specific method to restore your Emotional Energy Reserves and recover from your own Compassion Fatigue
  • and finish with a set of online Compassion Fatigue resources if you would like more tools or to study this important topic in more detail

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This is Blog Post #297
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The Origin of this Lightworker’s Dilemma

Let’s start at the beginning
– the point in time where you chose to become a doctor in the first place

You remember that fork in the road?

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Tags: Physician burnout, compassion fatigue

Spring burnout prevention training season is in full swing - over 1000 doctors trained last month

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

April was a busy burnout prevention training month at TheHappyMD.com

Here are the dates and trainings we delivered to well over 1000 doctors in April of 2019 -- and here is our speaking/training page where you can get us started customizing a training for your people. 

Whether you are looking to stop physician burnout or allow us to train your physician wellness champion - we offer the healthcare industry's best training experience. Over 170 organizations and well over 30,000 doctors trained to date. You can be next: Click Here to Learn More.

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This is Blog Post #296
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1) For SVMIC State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company 

We delivered Burnout Proof Live Workshop to SVMIC individual and group malpractice insurance clients a total of  12 times in:

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Tags: dike drummond md, healthcare speaker, stop physician burnout, quadruple aim, stop physician burnout training

Chief Wellness Officer - CWO - does your organization need one?

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Chief Wellness Officer - CWO - does your organization need one?

It is all the rage in leadership circles these days. The mucky mucks are all in agreement. If your organization is serious about preventing burnout, the very first thing you need to do is appoint a Chief Wellness Officer - and watch the angry, dark clouds of burnout lift - revealing the rainbows and unicorns of a happy, healthy physician workforce.

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This is Blog Post #295
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This is Magical Thinking of the highest order

Let's drink the CWO KoolAide for just a moment ... to recognize it is just another version of checking a box.

This C-Suite executive will be your savior, your cavalry cresting the ridge, your knight in shining armor, your hero among the bean counters. At the very least, they should be able to stop the rest of the C-suite from hammering the doctors into little tiny pieces.

Would your people or your organization actually benefit from installing a Chief Wellness officer - CWO

The answer of course is "IT DEPENDS"
[ And for 99% of healthcare organizations a CWO is a distraction from building a wellness program in the first place ]

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Tags: physician wellness, Physician burnout, quadruple aim, physician leadership retreat, physician wellness champion, chief wellness officer

Physician Leadership Skills - The #1 Habit of the High Trust Physician Leader

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Round On Your People

It is as simple as that ... and here is the monumental tragedy of current healthcare leadership behavior.

I have asked thousands of physician leaders - both physicians and non-doctor senior leaders - if they schedule time to round on or shadow their people. Their response is always the same. Just yesterday in a room of 30 CEO's and CMO's from independent groups around the USA, I asked that question -- and how many hands went up do you think??

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Stop The Madness

Help Us Lead the Physician Wellness Movement
Quadruple Aim Physician Leadership Retreat
Get Complete Details at This Link
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ZERO - not a single one

The next words out of my mouth were "shame on you." I am sure that is something they have never heard from a speaker before -- and yet they knew my critique was spot on.

Two Leadership Consequences of NOT Rounding

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Tags: physician leadership skills, stop physician burnout

Physician Burnout Surveys - 3 mysteries solved by latest super study

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

What about the doctors who don't return the burnout study - the non-respondents?

Are they different than the ones who do respond ?Specifically, are they more or less burned out than the people who send in the survey the first time they are asked??

For years this has been the biggest mystery surrounding any survey of physician burnout rates. It is a question I field often at our live training events. Up until now I have not been able to quote any research that attempted to answer the question.

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Well now we have answer

The recent edition of the original physician burnout Super Study we wrote about in the last blog post contains a hidden second wave of surveys that solves this fundamental mystery. 

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Related:
The Fatal Flaws in the Burnout Survey Industry
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This survey modification actually gives us three important new data points:

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Tags: physician burnout survey, stop physician burnout, Physician burnout survey mystery

Mayo's Physician Burnout Survey 2017 data is in and the third shoe drops

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Mayo's physician burnout super-study finally released their third round of data from the 2017 survey.

The third shoe has dropped, but what does it all mean??

This was that infamous first study documenting burnout rates above 50% in US physicians in Mayo Clinic Proceedings using US physician burnout surveys performed in 2011 and 2014 compared to burnout in the general US population.

It is probably the single most important data point in the birth of the movement to track and address burnout in physicians. That movement has spread far and wide since 2011, culminating in the current wave of industry-wide confabs like the NAM Action Collaborative on Clinician Wellbeing and Resilience.

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This is Blog Post #292
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Since 2014 we have been waiting patiently for that third round of surveys to report out. Show us the 2017 data please, please, please ... and here it is.

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Tags: physician leadership, physician burnout survey, stop physician burnout

Physician Burnout or "Moral Injury" what difference does it make?

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

It's not Physician Burnout dammit - it's Moral Injury, Victim Shaming, Human Rights Abuses, Right?

There is a wave of righteous indignation sweeping the online discussion of physician burnout recently. It is spawning a series of increasingly outraged new terms to define burnout as a symptom of systematic, deliberate abuse perpetrated by "the system".

Some even go so far as to accuse physician burnout coaches of "cannibalizing the corpses of their colleagues" - one of the more inappropriate and creepy examples of alliteration I have heard in a while. But hey, jump on the bandwagon.

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Tags: stop physician burnout, moral injury

Physician Leadership Lesson of the Day - Harm does not Require Malice

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

When managers/leaders drive for production in the face of physician burnout ... this becomes the leadership lesson of the day.

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Physician Leadership's
Dirty Little Secrets Video Series is Here
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Unfortunately the absence of empathy and understanding is something the same physician leader is often completely unaware of.

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Tags: Physician burnout, Physician leadership lesson, quote, charles m blow, quotes

Stop Physician Burnout - 4th grade math shows the epic fail of the current practice of medicine

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout - 4th grade math shows the epic fail of the current practice of medicine

We don't need no stinking spreadsheets

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This is Blog Post #290
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Let me show you a simple, reproducible, fourth grade math demonstration of the power of team based care and up-staffing the back office. Along the way you will begin to sense the staggering waste in the current practice of medicine, caused in part by industry standards like the MGMA annual staffing survey.

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We Build, Install & Support Corporate Burnout Prevention Strategy
Using Experience with 165 Clients to date -- CLICK to learn more
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The reason EMR is killing doctors is simple -- OVERWHELM

Doctors were never meant to handle both
1) the complex interactions and thought processes of diagnose and treat, teach and manage patients
2) AND the digital documentation of those interactions via any one of the current truly demonic user interfaces.

The implementation of EMR doubled the workload on the doctors.

Most employers did not staff up to handle it. Instead, relying on annual staffing surveys to show them the average back office staffing ratio is the same as it was back in paper chart days - 1 Doc + 1 Medical Assistant. 

That's right, the work load doubled without a change in the number of hands on deck.  The documentation falls on the doctor simply because:

- we are ultimately liable for what is in the chart
- we don't punch the clock and stop working at 5PM

It is as if someone designed the system of care specifically to burn out doctors and now they use industry averages to reinforce the travesty. You can't design a more perfect meat grinder for the average doctor and now it is considered the standard of care.

The result:


A 4th Grade review of the numbers reveals a way forward

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Tags: electronic medical records, ehr template, stop physician burnout, emr strategy, electronic health record

Stop Physician Burnout with a personal journal - the neuroscience of putting pen to paper

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Putting pen to paper in a personal journal is a powerful burnout prevention tool for doctors ...

- and the research says a keyboard is not a substitute for pen to paper.

The unexamined life is not worth living ~~ Socrates

The palest ink is better than the best memory ~~ Chinese proverb

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This is Blog Post #289

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One of the best ways to step out of the whirlwind of your daily life is to develop the habit of journaling about your experience.

Every single time you pick up your journal you put a process in motion that supports you building a more meaningful life and and practice. Writing in your journal automatically transports you to a new perspective, outside the whirlwind of ordinary events.  You pause and reflect.

The notes in your journal come from a new level of consciousness rather than the day-to-day rat brain of survival. Problems and dilemmas can be seen much more clearly and new action steps stand out like neon lights. 

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it ~~ Einstein

It all happens so fast it is easy to miss the power of process. Let's slow things down and take a closer look.

Here are the steps to journal self-reflection:

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Tags: mindfulness, stop physician burnout, gratitude journal, personal journal, whirlwind


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