Physician Wellness Comes First - It is the Foundation for Engagement and Performance

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Wellbeing Engagement Performance


For over 50 years, hundreds of research studies have demonstrated this consistent hierarchy
Physician Wellness is the Foundation for Physician Engagement and Performance.

The Health, Happiness and Wellbeing of your Physicians and Staff will determine:

Their levels of Engagement and Satisfaction
The ease of Recruitment and the amount of Turnover in the patient care teams
The Quality of their care
The Quantity of care they can deliver
The Safety of that care and the number of Medical Errors
The level of Patient Satisfaction

[ and even the Net Promoter Score if that is what keeps you up at night ]



If your leadership team focuses on Performance First
without proper attention paid to Wellbeing,
there is only one possible result ...
Burnout and Turnover

When you flip this association on its head, you realize a pro-active Physician Wellness Strategy is the single most important leverage point to drive all of these key performance indicators higher in the organization. 

If your organization does not understand this order of priority, you have fallen into a sweatshop attempting to exploit your heart and soul for profits. 

What appears to be Your Organization's #1 Priority ?

Wellbeing or Performance ?

Learn More:

The simplest way to prevent physician burnout
Live Burnout Prevention Training
Burnout's highest and best use

Meet our team of certified physician coaches
The fast track to a much better job

You may have a snap answer to that question right now. Let me help you give your answer some rigor so you can clearly recognize your employer's management culture. 

Join me in a little industrial psychology field work by answering the following questions about your day-to-day work experience. 

Grab a piece of paper and pen and get ready to write down two lists.

List #1: Evidence for Wellness Focus

Let's make a list of all the things you can observe in the course of a normal month in your practice that are focused on your wellness at work. 

  • What appears to be your organization's Physician Wellness Strategy?

  • Is it making a difference for you and your teams?

  • What does your employer teach you about how to recognize and prevent physician burnout?

  • How often does your organization ask you about stressors in your work day and then run projects to remove them?

  • What are they doing to allow the patient care teams to focus their time and energy on the patients, rather than the paperwork?

  • What is being done to create a culture of collaboration and support between the employees and management.

  • Do you agree with the statement: "The leadership team in my organization has my back." (Answer on a 1 - 10 scale. 1="Are you kidding me" 10="absolutely")


List #2: Evidence for Performance Focus

Flip that piece of paper over and let's start a second list. On a separate piece of paper write down a list of ways your employer measures and encourages performance:

  • List all the reports you get that track patient visit volumes, RVU production, patient satisfaction and the various quality and safety metrics.

  • List all the active projects focused on improving visit volumes, patient satisfaction, quality and safety. 

  • How often do you get feedback on your performance/production from your manager? Is that a useful exercise for you and your care team? (Answer on 1 - 10 scale)

  • How often does this performance review compare you to some third party average and - if you are in primary care -  you are informed (again) just how much money your practice loses the organization. 


Take a look at your two lists

Where is Your Leadership Team's Focus?

Which leads to a even more important series of questions.

Let's take a minute to release the patient and put you and your family first as you answer the following. 

The focus of your leadership team will have a dramatic effect on the quality of your practice and quality of life for you and your family. These deeper questions are about how you are doing in your current situation.

  • What is your level of satisfaction with your current practice on a 1 - 10 scale?

  • Where is your experience of your practice day on this continuum:
    An Exhausting SLOG <--->Smooth, Pleasant, Well Oiled Machine

  • What is your level of satisfaction with your current work-life balance on a 1 - 10 scale?

  • If you don't like your answers to these three, is now a time to take a closer look and consider making some changes?

  • If your answer is "YES" a Discovery Session with one of our Certified Physician Coaches is just a click away. No Cost, No Obligation, Completely Confidential.

  • If you want to be a Wellness Champion in your organization and help rebalance these priorities, our Quadruple Aim Physician Leadership Retreat is Here.


Physician Wellbeing Number One



Is your organization production or wellness oriented?
How can you tell?
How is that going for you?



Tags: stop physician burnout, physician wellbeing