Interim Physicians Blog

Dr. Ken's Corner: landmark report addresses physician burnout

Posted by Ken Teufel M.D. on Nov 20, 2019 12:17:45 PM

It's not the doctor's fault – blame the system! That's the underlying message in the landmark report released October 23, 2019 by the prestigious National Academy of Medicine. "You can't just teach doctors meditation, yoga, and self-care. We need big, fundamental changes," said Christine Cassel, M.D., professor of medicine at University of California at San Francisco and co-chair of the committee of experts who wrote the report. "What this report is saying is that this is a systemic problem that requires systemic solutions." It's time to stop blaming the victim.

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Topics: Physician Burnout, Dr. Ken's Corner

6 unique ways to battle physician burnout

Posted by Nick Aldridge on Jun 20, 2019 11:50:00 AM

Physicians spend most of their waking hours caring for and treating others. Often, they’re so focused on their patients that their own issues get little to no attention. It’s no wonder, then, that physician burnout has increased at a staggering rate.

Medscape’s 2019 National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report revealed that 44% of physicians report feeling burned out, experiencing “long-term, unresolvable job stress that leads to exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed, cynical, and detached from the job, and lacking a sense of personal accomplishment.” In fact, physicians represent the highest suicide rate of any profession: one doctor commits suicide in the U.S. daily!

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Topics: Physician Burnout

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

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: Physician Burnout, Dr. Ken's Corner, Education

Dr. Ken's Corner: Hospital-Acquired Conditions Show Dramatic Drop

Posted by Ken Teufel M.D. on Jun 20, 2018 12:38:14 PM

Recent efforts to make hospitals safer seem to be paying off.  The goal is an ambitious one, to say the least: to reduce hospital-acquired conditions by 1.8 million from 2014 to 2019, a 20% reduction that will save 19.1 billion dollars in hospital costs (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).  Optimism is growing that this goal may be attainable.

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Topics: Physician Burnout

Why humor is imperative for physicians (and patients, too)

Posted by Interim Physicians on Apr 19, 2018 12:00:00 PM

When was the last time you had a good laugh?

April is National Humor Month, and the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine,” couldn’t be more true than in healthcare. Laughter fuels resiliency, and with more than half of physicians reporting symptoms of burnout, laughter is always welcome at hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country.

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Topics: Physician Burnout, Humor in Medicine Month