Burning Down The House

A new survey, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which evaluated burnout rates nationally across different medical specialties, showed that more than four in 10 physicians across the nation said they were emotionally exhausted or felt a high degree of cynicism, or “depersonalization,” toward their patients.  Ouch.  That’s not good but if you have been reading the Authentic Medicine Gazettes I send every Wednesday then you would know why.  In the Yahoo piece I reference, Dr. Tait Shanafelt of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who led the research, seems confused.

It’s not clear why burnout strikes so many doctors, said Shanafelt, adding that excessive workloads are only part of the equation. Other possible reasons include too much paperwork, loss of professional autonomy and a higher patient load to make up for declining reimbursement rates.

Not clear?  Child, please.   Doctors have lost freedom, independence and control. Hell, only a quarter of the surveys were even returned.   Doctors don’t care enough to send these things back to help themselves.   You could say that only a quarter of the samplings returned would question the validity of the study.  I would say yes but remember your Press Ganey bullshit patient surveys get MUCH less than that.  And we get penalized on that data!

*Thank to Jon who sent me the info on this.  From him:

The highlights are the 5th from the last paragraph where they admit to excessive paperwork and loss of autonomy as some reasons why we’re the only profession who has higher work dissatisfaction after earning a higher degree. Then the last paragraph puts dermatologists as less stressed out than family medicine and emergency medicine doctors. I wouldn’t be so sure about the dermatologists. I used to work for a cosmetic laser surgeon before medical school. Selling those expensive moisturizers made out of wax and water can be pretty stressful.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]