How to Prevent Physician Burnout as Simply as Possible

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
~ Albert Einstein

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Physician Burnout - Praying for a one-step solution is human nature (and a trap)

One of the key features of physician burnout - or any supremely uncomfortable life circumstance - is a desire to run away, escape, make the pain stop. When you are deep in the downward spiral, your mind drops to its knees and prays for a simple, one-step solution to the agony and despair.

We ask basic questions like:

  1. What can I do to fix/stop/solve this?
  2. How long will it take?

Because our questions are simple, we assume a simple answer will come to our rescue.

That is the first mistake - especially if you are a physician leader looking to prevent physician burnout at a system level. 

We almost always ask the wrong questions.

In this blog post, let me show you the simplest way possible to prevent physician burnout in any healthcare organization that employs physicians. I promise to make it as simple as possible for you, but no simpler. 

THREE KEY DISTINCTIONS

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Tags: prevent physician burnout, stop physician burnout, burnout prevention strategy

Physician Burnout -Wall Street Journal Article an Insult to US Doctors

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout - Wall Street Journal Article Insults the Plight of US Doctors

This week the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) assigned a staff writer to pen an article on physician burnout. "Hospitals Address Widespread Doctor Burnout" came out on June 9th and IMHO it would be hard to do a worse job of bringing the American public up to speed on the modern burnout epidemic.

Given that physician burnout is the single biggest threat to the health and wellbeing of both the physicians and patients - the atrocious quality of this article is an insult to the healthcare profession.

The real tragedy here is what happens when a burned out doctors sees the issue handled in this manner in the national press. It becomes even easier to give up hope, since no one appears to be taking your concerns, your exhaustion, your heartbreak - even your impulse to abandon medicine altogether - seriously.  

Don't give up just because the WSJ and this writer have never spoken to a burned out doctor and don't have the first clue what they are talking about. There is ALWAYS a way forward 
Our coaches are always available here
The MATRIX 2.0 is here

Reading such drivel ... on such a stage ... realizing the WSJ just totally blew an opportunity to inform the public on the nature and impact of the plague of physician burnout ... is infuriating. 

The article staggers randomly from superficial point to silly quote for just long enough to become truly annoying.

Here are the key take aways from the writers perspective. BTW, if these highlights seem lame/vapid/superficial ... you are beginning to understand just how bad this article is.

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Tags: stop physician burnout

Stop Physician Suicide - Bourdain highlights the need for prevention

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician suicide is the most extreme complication of physician  burnout, yet suicides often fly under the radar

Physician suicides are taboo subjects, quickly swept under the rug and subconsciously banned from civilized conversation ... until ... someone popular and famous and well-loved dies in a highly visible suicide. This week it was Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential and host of his Parts Unknown TV series. 

While the world mourns Bourdain, the natural tendency is for all of us to remember someone we lost to suicide in our own lives. For doctors, the person we remember is often a colleague. The whole issue of doctor, resident and medical student suicide gets lost in the larger conversation about the tidal wave of physician burnout. The sad truth is that physician suicide is a known complication of physician burnout and ... 

Whether you are male or female, choosing to become a doctor immediately doubles your suicide rate. 

As the world mourns the unexpected loss of Bourdain, my heart mourns for those doctors, doctors in training, nurses, EMT's and other healthcare workers who also took their lives ... the people whom only you and I remember.

Four Reminders and Action Steps to Prevent Physician Suicide in wake of this week of tragedy:

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Tags: stop physician burnout, physician suicide

Stop Physician Burnout: Is blanket genetic testing the straw that breaks the doctor's back?

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout: Is blanket genetic testing the straw that breaks the doctor's back?

Today's sign that the end is near ...
Or the legitimate future of healthcare?? 

Will the doctors survive to see it through?

One of the reasons for the modern epidemic of physician burnout is the leadership habit of piling more and more and more on the backs of the doctors. We survived residency. We can take almost anything. And even the most well conditioned baby boomer workaholic physician has their limits. 

  • The thousands of clicks and key strokes of the modern EMR, text messages, emails and other InBox work. Maybe you even deal with 2 or three different EMRs each week.
  • The various quality indicators and patient satisfaction requirements, HCAPS, MOC and more
  • Dealing with the chaos in the insurance markets and continuous mergers and acquisitions

The default setting for any new task is always, "let the doctors take care of it". No one appears to be asking the Quadruple Aim Question: "What effect will this have on the health and wellbeing of the providers."

I believe we just got a peek at what our collective Last Straw might look like just this week - and it is a sneaky one for sure. This would appear to be a good thing on the surface - good for the patients. And you are going to have to convince me this is not a legitimate Last Straw for the doctors. Ready? Drum roll please ... 

This Week the Geisinger healthcare system decided they would provide free DNA sequencing for all patients !!

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Tags: stop physician burnout, genetic testing, genome, can of worms, precision medicine

Stop Physician Burnout - Always be Building a More Ideal Practice

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout by continuously building a more Ideal Practice ... here's how

In this brief video lesson (5:28) you will learn a three-step process to always be building a more Ideal Practice. This process is also laid out in our book starting on page 70 and this video training is just one of 48 digital resources in our Burnout Proof APP here.

3 Steps to Building Your Ideal Practice

Stop the Ongoing Loss of Physician Autonomy

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Tags: ideal job description, stop physician burnout, physician burnout video training, Ideal practice description

Stop Physician Burnout with the Reverse Differential Diagnosis

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout with the Reverse Differential Diagnosis

Doctors are trained to be diagnosis machines. You plop us down in front of a complete stranger for 10 - 15 minutes and we will diagnose the problem - and be in action to treat it - in somewhere between 5 seconds and 15 minutes. It's what we do dozens of times a day and thousands of times a year in our practice.

We originally learned how to do this in the familiar exercise of Differential Diagnosis

In this post, let me show you how this basic function of a good doctor invisibly robs us of the ability to be happy, content, grateful and relaxed. You will also learn how to turn the process around and perform a Reverse Differential Diagnosis any time you wish -- to find blessings showering you like a thunderstorm any time you step out of your physician programming. 

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Tags: stop physician burnout, reverse differential diagnosis

Save 1 Million Clicks a Day With One Simple Change

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Stop Physician Burnout: Save a Million Clicks a Day With This One Simple Change

Every day, all over the world, physicians waste time and energy on EMR and other documentation tasks that completely obstruct our ability to provide a quality patient encounter.

I am talking about things we are forced to do on the computer that are a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME

These are computer tasks everyone knows add no value whatsoever to patient care. Their only consequence is increased stress and wasted time and energy for everyone involved.

Here is a simple - one step - inexpensive solution that will save well over a million clicks a day across the USA and instantly and permanently give every single provider back time and energy as soon as you plug the darn thing in. It really is that simple. Ready?

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Tags: emr, stop physician burnout, tap and go log in, rfid login

Physician Burnout and the Brain Changes of the Eeyore Effect

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

Physician Burnout and the Brain Changes of the Eeyore Effect

Have you ever noticed how everything changes when you are exhausted, burned out or in a foul mood? Even little things get under your skin, you get stuck in traffic, spill coffee on your white shirt, forget your reading glasses ... it all happens on the same day and it is distinctly crazy-making. Have you ever experienced that?

I call it the Eeyore Effect

In this article let me show you the latest functional MRI brain research on the basis of the Eeyore Effect and and give you an extremely simple way to turn it all around.

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Tags: stop physician burnout, functional mri, eeyore

PODCAST - The Root Causes of Physician Burnout

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

PODCAST - The Root Causes of Physician Burnout

 Here is a podcast with the talented John Jurica MD at The VITAL Physician Executive at this link. 

We discussed:
1. The scope of our activities beyond publishing The Happy MD blog and website;
2. How the Quadruple Aim is not being realized;
3. A working definition of physician burnout;
4. How coaching has helped thousands of physicianssalvage their clinical careers;
5. Five root causes of physician burnout;
6. Three burnout myths;
7. The first steps to take to eliminate burnout.

CLICK the Play Button to Start Listening

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Tags: stop physician burnout

The Battle for the Quadruple Aim - Its 3 on 1 and the Outcome Is Unclear

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

The Battle for the Quadruple Aim - It's 3 on 1 and the Outcome Is Unclear

The Quadruple Aim is a simple, common sense concept that goes like this:

Quality patient care is based on the health and wellbeing of the human beings providing that care ... the doctors and staff. 

I know ... you are probably saying "Duh" right now. It seems like such an obvious statement of fact ... right? And it is such an obvious antidote to physician burnout.

I must admit I  had a naive assumption that this concept would take off like a rocket after the first article in Annals of Family Medicine in 2015. And it has not. 

The Quadruple Aim is actually a radical notion in the healthcare industry for three distinct reasons I will show you below.

The battle lines are drawn and the forces are in raging conflict in C-suites and Board Rooms across the globe.

Unfortunately the outcome is in doubt at this point in time.

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Tags: stop physician burnout, quadruple aim, triple aim

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