Stop Physician Burnout - the Courage to Take Better Care of Yourself

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

When burnout forces you to reverse the bad habits of our training - normal self-care can seem like an act of courage

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This is Blog Post #288

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Burnout is your destiny trying to get your attention. It's objective - wake you up and knock you onto a path with more purpose.

Most of the time, it must grind you to a state of complete exhaustion, before you will begin to challenge the habits that got you here. Those survival habits were learned in the crucible of your residency. Learning to take better care of yourself won't come easily.

And if you are lucky, burnout finally gets you to look in the mirror and ask, "Is THIS what I really want in my life and my practice?"

If you recover, better self-care will be a significant piece of your strategy. You realize you don't have to live your life like a resident. There are other options.

  • You will learn how turn off your "the patient comes first" programming when you are not at work
  • You will find new ways to take better care of yourself - to put your mask on first
  • Rest - Nutrition - Vacations/Holidays - even a little pampering here and there - will all play a role. 

Then you run into the next obstacle. 

As soon as you start taking better care of yourself, GUILT will often rear its ugly head.

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Tags: stop physician burnout, physician wellbeing, physician self care

Investing in Physician Wellbeing brings a Dual Competitive Advantage

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

The Business Case for Investing in Physician Wellbeing - a Dual Competitive Advantage for Early Adopters

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This is Blog Post #279

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In 2017 an article in JAMA Internal Medicine by Shanafelt, Goh and Sinsky (JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(12):1826-1832) made a comprehensive business case for investing in physician well-being. I highly recommend the article. The UCSD HEAR Program has mounted the full PDF document at this link. I recommend you read and absorb every word.

In this blog post let me show you a different way of looking at the benefits to the organization of taking better care of your physicians and staff. 

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The Current State of Affairs

For the individual physician burnout can cause emotional and physical exhaustion, compassion fatigue, cynicism, loss of a sense of purpose in their practice, depression, alcohol and drug use, divorce, shortening of their career and even doubles all physician's risk of dying of suicide - regardless of their gender.

Organizational symptoms of burnout include decreased quality of care and patient satisfaction, higher medical error rates, higher rates of malpractice suits, physician disengagement, dissatisfaction and disruptive behavior and higher turnover for both physicians and staff.

Remember too that burnout prevalence in US physicians in the last 4 years or so has hovered at 50% or more regardless of what group of physicians have been surveyed. Now notice something else ... 

How is it you can read those paragraphs and NOT BE PULLING YOUR HAIR OUT and telling your friends and family not to go to the doctor or hospital until we FIGURE THIS OUT?????

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Tags: Physician burnout, physician leadership, physician resilience, physician wellbeing

Our Client - Avera Health - wins national physician wellbeing award

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

National Recognition for Our Client Avera Health in Sioux Falls !!

Our clients Avera Health in Sioux Falls, South Dakota just won the  2016 Medicus Integra Award from the Coalition for Physician Wellbeing.

In 2014 we collaborated with Avera to provide 8 full onsite training days for their regional hub hospitals and launched their Burnout Prevention Working Group which they call the LIGHT Committee. The letters stand for 

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Tags: physician wellbeing


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