According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, burnout is a long-term stress reaction marked by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a lack of accomplishment.
In a recent Doximity survey over 86% of the survey’s 2,000 physicians reported being overworked, with more than one-third considering early retirement and two-thirds (66.7%) of physicians say they are considering an employment change. The growing physician shortage issue and aging population in the U.S. only add to the severity of the situation, making it imperative to prioritize the well-being of our physicians and health care workers.
Fortunately, the healthcare industry is addressing burnout in myriad ways. We’re sharing some helpful resources below for recruiters as they support physicians in the battle of burnout.
- The American Medical Association (AMA) is leading a recovery plan to fight the system-level drivers of physician burnout. It’s focused on removing administrative burdens and providing real-world solutions like the Physician Well-Being Program, which aims to raise awareness, advance knowledge and catalyze change to reduce burnout and promote joy, meaning and purpose for physicians, practices and health systems. They also advocate for physicians and emphasize burnout is not the result of deficiencies in doctors but in the systems where they work.
- The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation is dedicated to reducing burnout and helping physicians safeguard their well-being and job satisfaction. According to the New York Times, Dr. Breen was an emergency medicine physician in New York City and supervisor of her emergency department. Known as “a consummate overachiever” Dr. Breen was “gifted, confident, clever, unflappable.” Until she faced Covid. After struggling at her overwhelmed hospital, treating patients and losing so many, she took her own life. Her family considers her another casualty of the pandemic. “If it can happen to her, it can happen to anyone.” Dr. Breen’s family formed the non-profit foundation to advance the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act (H.R. 1667), the first-ever federal legislation directed at ending the culture of fear among healthcare professionals who seek mental health support and treatment.
- Psychiatrist Katie Cole, DO is leading the Hope for Healthcare movement to bring about meaningful and sustainable change to physicians. On average, more than one physician takes their own life every day. Burnout is not a mental health condition, according to Dr. Cole, but many doctors suffer in silence out of fear of the professional stigma of seeking help. She asks physicians: How can we properly care for our patients when we aren’t taking care of ourselves? Along with Paul DeChant, MD, MBA and other industry experts, Dr. Cole is working to create a culture of well-being in healthcare and return joy to patient care. She makes some great points here: Burnout 101, Common Questions About Burnout
- The mission of The Healthcare Burnout Symposium is to help all health care professionals understand the far-reaching consequences of burnout, discover strategies for burnout prevention and mitigation, and identify burnout in themselves and others. The annual meeting has grown significantly in a few short years.
- The Coalition for Physician Well-Being, whose mission is to promote meaning, purpose and joy in the practice of medicine, is an association made up of healthcare systems, hospitals and professional organizations. Organization members are focused on learning together how to build robust, sustainable programs in support of physician well-being. They also embrace physician wholeness, encompassing physical, mental, social, and spiritual health.
- The Women Physicians Wellness Conference hosts three annual live conferences in Grand Cayman, Aruba, and Amelia Island, Florida. Each is designed to address a different focus for women physicians: career development and career clarity. Women put their feet in the sand, learn from one another, and earn CME credits, too.
Did you know administrative burdens are a leading cause of physician burnout? One National Institute of Health (NIH) study found that, in total, physicians spent 44.9% of their time on EHR-related tasks.
Helping physicians be more productive so they can provide better care for their patients is a top priority at Doximity, and we’re proud to serve over two million U.S. medical professionals. If you want to learn five things you can do to support physicians facing burnout, we covered the topic recently here on our blog: 5 Things Recruiters Can Do to Support Physicians Facing Burnout