Is COVID + IDA an Existential Threat to Louisiana Doctors and All Healthcare Staff?

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

What could be worse than COVID 19 Wave Four in a State with a 41% vaccination rate?

How about a Cat 4 Hurricane slapped right across your face at the very same time.

My biggest fear is that this one-two punch will destroy the healthcare delivery system in New Orleans, the state of Louisiana and any other state in IDA's path.

The buildings may remain standing, my concern is the will of the people in the front lines.

Tags: Physician Burnout, Covid19

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Disruptive Physician Toolkit

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Disruptive Physician Toolkit – how to raise your concerns and avoid being labeled

“Disruptive Physician” is one of the most misused terms in healthcare these days.

Most of the time it is used to silence legitimate concerns from hard working, caring physicians. Even worse is the feminine version of this toxic label - the "B Word".

Once you get either label, it can be very difficult to recover your reputation or work your way back into a position of influence. Being tossed under the bus like this is the most common cause of physicians quitting their current job. 

This whole tragic miscommunication is avoidable 90% of the time, if you learn the rules to communicating with administrators when you are upset. 

In this article let me show you an extremely important skill for any employed physician -- or any physician leader below the level of CEO ...

How to communicate your legitimate concerns up the chain of command and NOT GET LABELED "DISRUPTIVE"

Tags: Physician Burnout, Physician Leadership, disruptive physician toolkit

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Racist and Sexist MicroAggressions are a Common Cause of Physician Burnout

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

I am a big, old, straight, American cis male physician, showered in white privilege and given a free pass in the realm of bias and discrimination. 

I have coached hundreds of burned out physicians over the last 12 years. Our conversations are intimate and authentic for a simple reason; there is no change without first telling the truth.

Whenever one of my coaching clients varies from my personal characteristics - in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, native language, sexual orientation or any other variable - we both know that bias and discrimination play some role in their burnout. They tell me the truth of what is going on. I tell them when I see subtle and obvious bias and discrimination from my position of privilege.

[I freely acknowledge I did not earn this position. It is only a reflection of the random combination of chromosomes that looks back at me from the mirror in the morning. As a coach it offers me the equivalent of a Litmus Test: I ask, "if it was me instead of my client in this situation, would I be treated the same way?" If the answer is NO, bias and discrimination is in play.]

For these physicians, each week contains a subset of words and deeds that hurt. The aggressors may be patients, staff, the general population or even leaders and physician colleagues.

  • Some hurt on purpose with looks, language and actions used deliberately to wound the physician as a human being.
  • Others are unconsciously woven into the fabric of our society and the healthcare system itself. 

 

TWO (obvious) QUESTIONS:

1) Just how often do physicians who are not white and not cis males experience these feelings of bias and discrimination in the course of their work life?

2) Is the frequency of these "microaggressions" associated with burnout in these doctors?

A recent study answers both.

  • 94% experienced sexist microaggressions
  • 81% experienced racist microaggressions
  • Each and both were linked to the physician's burnout risk


Let me show you why these results (which might seem shocking to you) are what I consider to be a best case scenario.

And ... let me ask you if this strikes you as important new information or an obvious "DUH of the Day"?

Tags: Physician Burnout, bias and discrimination in healthcare

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Patient Satisfaction should never be 100%

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Patient Satisfaction should NEVER be 100%

Patient Satisfaction - or the "Patient Experience" is a key quality indicator for organizations and a potential bonus point for the individual physician.

Tags: Physician Burnout, Physician Leadership

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Stop Physician Burnout: One Step to More of What You Really Want in Your Practice

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout: One step to more of what you really want in your practice.

Desire is an interesting and disempowering emotion. When you really, really, really want things to be different and you wake up the next day -- and it is exactly the same as yesterday -- well that is just disappointing to say the least.

If your practice is not what you dreamed it would be ... that difference between desire and reality can be a major source of stress and burnout. 

And yet there is great power in desire/longing/dreams and vision when you have a clear target and the skills to move in that direction. This is what got you through Medical School and Residency - a clear finish line and a way to get there.

You are out in your own practice now. You have the freedom and responsibility to determine what your practice looks like and how it feels ... for you and your family. It is rare that you will find what you seek on someone else's job description.

You will need to change things up to get what you really want in your practice/career/life. This is how you put stress and burnout to its highest and best use.

Tags: Physician Burnout

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