Stop Physician Burnout - you just don't party enough

Posted by Dike Drummond MD


Stop Physician Burnout - you just do not party nearly enough

In this post let me show you a quick, fun, powerful method to build a more supportive culture among any group of physicians - a method most groups completely ignore.

Because of the power of an active Social Calendar (partying more), this is one of the four components of our Quadruple Aim Blueprint Strategy for Corporate Wellness.


Whenever I am in front of a room of 100 - 200 - 300 physicians delivering a live training, I always ask them this question ...

"How many of you can look around the room and see someone you have never met before?"

How many hands do you think go up?

quadruple-aim-blueprintThat's right ... Every Single One, Every Single Time.

This stranger-ism - and the isolation it reflects - is a key cause of physician burnout in this modern era of larger and larger groups of employed physicians.

  • You can't build a culture of support between strangers!
  • You can't feel like someone has your back when you have never met them before!
  • The alone-on-your-hamster-wheel work life of the typical doctor leaves us all craving human connection -- something that most groups make only token attempts to create and maintain.
  • And it never used to be like this!

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Back in "the good old days" groups were smaller, owned and controlled by the doctors, with many more human-to-human connections than in today's mega-groups.

  • We knew our partners by name, by sight and by reputation.
  • We even knew their spouse/partner/significant other and even their children in some cases.
  • We shared human connections, liked each other (for the most part) and had a much more tribe-like feel to our collective interactions.

There was one reason for this - we partied together more.

We spent more time together in social functions outside of work. We got to know each other as humans -- rather than just parallel RVU generating machines, visible to each other only as numbers on production spreadsheets distributed by administration.

So when all those hands go up in response to my question ... showing that everyone sees someone they have never met before ... here is the next thing out of my mouth to the crowd ...

"You don't party enough!" 

It's true. Many big groups have shrunk their social calendar down to a single annual Holiday Staff Meeting. That is a tragedy and a massive missed opportunity to prevent burnout among the doctors.

These human connections are so critical to building a culture of support, these larger and more spread out groups should be partying MORE than we did in the past!

It is why I insist our trainings be wrapped in a social event - with food, drinks and all significant others invited. The social event is just as important as the tools I will teach on that evening.

Remember too -- the rapid formation of large employed doctor groups in most US cities comes from the pooling of practices that often were in competition in the past. There are rivalries and mistrust from days gone by to be overcome. Yet another reason to PARTY MORE to build new bonds and relationships and friendships going forward.

Your Social Calendar is one of the Four Main Components of a Corporate Wellness Strategy.

These human connections, forged in the heat of good parties and social events, are so critically important, we have made them one of the four components in our Corporate Wellness Strategy we call the Quadruple Aim Blueprint.

You must invest in an active Social Calendar with your physicians and other providers.


Eight Keys to an Effective PARTY STRATEGY to Prevent Physician Burnout

  • Frequent get togethers and gatherings. At least quarterly. Monthly smaller group meetings are even better.
  • Vary the venues and activities.
  • Offer child care when you can.
  • Invite partners, spouses, significant others.
  • Send the invitations to the significant other at the home address on color post cards.
  • Take lots of pictures of smiling faces and put them in your monthly wellness newsletter. 
  • Make sure everyone knows the dates of the next three social events.
  • Concentrate all of your support on the people who show up and release the absent.


Combine this deliberate party strategy the additional three components of our Quadruple Aim Blueprint -- and you will be surprised how quickly things can change.

Get Your Copy of the Blueprint as a FREE White Paper ... at this link



  • Does your group party enough?
  • Have you met all of the other employed physicians in your group yet?
  • What was the most fun you had at an employer sponsored social event in the last year or two.

Tags: stop physician burnout, quadruple aim