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

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

physician-burnout-WSJ-article-insults-US-doctorsStop 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.

  • There is a lot of burnout
  • Burnout can have "a significant effect on quality and risk of malpractice suits"
  • Everybody needs to have a Chief Wellness Officer
  • It is a mistake to talk about wellness/burnout when it is actually about mental health
  • Dictating notes directly into your medical record is a "solution"
  • Doctors should leave "some tasks to others"
  • "Hiring staff to sit in on appointments and take notes is cost-effective, because it frees up doctors to see more patients"
  • Hospitals should have a doctor's lounge
  • "I am sure everyone has a room where they could offer bagels and coffee"
  • Doctors can "track their angst" with a well being index invented by the Mayo Clinic.
    [ Sheesh I wish people would stop shlepping that physician wellbeing survey

Yes, those are the high points when one of the pillars of excellence in American journalism takes on the task of explaining the physician burnout epidemic to the citizens of our nation.

What they did NOT mention

That burnout kills doctors and patients

That over 50% of US Doctors are suffering from burnout on any given day

That physician burnout is the root cause of
- Medical errors
- Malpractice lawsuits and patient complaints
- Physician depression/drug use/suicide and so much more.


Here's the full article and I encourage you to read the whole thing.



What is your opinion of the quality of this article given the reputation and responsibility of the Wall Street Journal?

Does it convey the nature and impact of physician burnout adequately to the American public? 

Tags: stop physician burnout