Stop Physician Burnout - Cognitive Ergonomics is the DUH of the Day
[ RANT ON ]
This is Blog Post #274
Complete Blog Library is Here
If you invite physicians into your management or leadership meetings, we will diagnose the problems in the system of care with the same speed and skill we diagnose disease in our patients.
Sooner or later we will also run into any number of situations that qualify as hypocrisy: where the organization says one thing and does something completely different.
Nothing in this world upsets a physician leader more than hypocrisy.
Download the full Disruptive Physician Toolkit Here
We see it right away, like a flashing red light. It drives us to shout, thump tables, foam at the lips and more. This undisciplined behavior results in many doctors being labeled a "disruptive physician" and their completely legitimate concerns downplayed or ignored by the other senior leaders at the table. This outright dismissal of legitimate concerns can be a major cause of physician burnout for some doctors.
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.
“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 ...
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.
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"?