Interim Physicians Blog

Ken Teufel M.D.

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Dr. Ken Teufel

Dr. Ken's Corner: Is it Burnout or Boredom?

Posted by Ken Teufel M.D. on Mar 27, 2019 9:29:24 AM
Burnout among physicians is much higher than burnout in the general population. But could it be that many physicians diagnosed with burnout are actually suffering from boredom? Here are some of the synonyms listed under the heading of boredom: apathy, weariness, dissatisfaction, frustration, restlessness, lack of enthusiasm, lack of interest, lack of concern. And here's the AMA's definition of burnout: "emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a lost sense of accomplishment." Sounds like boredom and burnout go hand-in-hand.
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Topics: physician burnout, burnout remains at crisis levels, boredom or burnout, the physician burnout rate may be shrinking

Dr. Ken's Corner: Is Telemedicine the New Frontier?

Posted by Ken Teufel M.D. on Feb 21, 2019 3:35:15 PM

Robotic surgery, gene therapy, and deep brain stimulation are so-called "frontiers" of medicine.  Now there's a new frontier--telemedicine. "Research firm IHS Markit estimates that telemedicine visits will soar from 23 million in 2017 to 105 million by 2022" (Associated Press, 2/6/19). By then, one in ten doctors' visits could be via telemedicine. This could be an understatement if practitioners, health systems, and investors keep discovering new ways to expand telemedicine's reach.

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Topics: Dr. Ken Teufel, Dr. Ken's Corner, telemedicine

Dr. Ken's Corner: Leaving Practice for a While? Think Reentry

Posted by Ken Teufel M.D. on Jan 31, 2019 12:00:00 PM

Despite reports of burned out doctors abandoning their careers, many other doctors simply want some time off -- perhaps a year or more -- to take a breather, spend time with family, or take a sabbatical abroad. The AMA warns that leaving clinical practice for an extended period of time should not be taken lightly: "Lack of retraining before reentry raises questions about patient safety and the clinical competence of reentered physicians." Doctors need to be aware that, "getting back in the game is expensive, time-consuming, and sometimes nearly impossible. So before you take a hiatus from medicine, ask yourself--can you afford it?" (medpage.com)

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Topics: burnout, Dr. Ken Teufel, physician burnout, Dr. Ken's Corner, PHYSICIAN RETRAINING AND RE-ENTRY, education, reentry, retraining, reentry programs

Dr.  Ken's Corner: Why the Decline in Office Visits to Primary Care Physicians?

Posted by Ken Teufel M.D. on Dec 20, 2018 3:23:11 PM

Office visits to primary care physicians declined by 18 percent between 2012 and 2016, according to a recent study by the Health Care Cost Institute.  The HCCI analysts limited their observations to adults younger than age 65 with employer-sponsored health insurance.  When other patients were included, "they noted a 2 percent decrease in all PCP office visits from 2012 to 2016" (medscape.com).  The question is "Why?"

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Topics: primary care physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, PCP, team-based care, mid-level providers, primary care office, urgent care clinic, millennials, urgent care

Dr. Ken’s Corner: Hospitals Step Up Efforts To Fight Superbugs

Posted by Ken Teufel M.D. on Nov 29, 2018 12:01:00 PM

Approximately one in 25 patients will contract at least one infection during their stay in the hospital.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that the number of hospital acquired infections has dropped slightly since 2011, according to a recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  In 2011 about 4 percent of patients developed an infection while in the hospital.  That number is now down to 3.2 percent (2015 data).  (The CDC’s findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, November 1, 2018.)

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Topics: CDC, hospital, patient safety, superbugs, infection rates

Dr. Ken's Corner: Why Do Small, Independent Practices Have Less Burnout?

Posted by Ken Teufel M.D. on Nov 1, 2018 12:09:36 PM

Telling burned out physicians they need to learn how to cope better with stress is not working. Despite numerous programs designed to improve physician "resilience," the rate of physician burnout keeps climbing. With overall burnout estimates ranging from 30% to 68%, a recent study reveals that there's one subset of physicians with a rate of only 13.5% -- primary care physicians in solo or small practices (Journal American Board of Family Medicine, July-August 2018).

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We write about the healthcare world and all-things locum tenens. From healthcare reform and new technology, to travel tips, and insightful commentary from our Medical Director, Dr. Ken Teufel – we cover what matters most to you. Is there a topic you’d like to read about? Share your ideas now.

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