A Weekly Email Ends Physician Burnout


Physician burnout is bad. Doctors continue to quit, retire or kill themselves.  There are many reasons this is occurring but the biggest is the pressures of today’s healthcare system. So how do we fix it?  Easy.  A program called Lumunos, created by administrators, sends out a weekly email that addresses a specific subject, such as how to say no to patients with compassion and clarity. About 350 physicians across all participating hospitals currently receive the email.  That’s not all.  “Those emails build to monthly 45-minute meetings led by a facilitator who keeps the conversation productive and focused.”  Okay, I will stop myself there.  I do appreciate any attempt to help with physician burnout but without fixing the cause then all you are getting are doctors deleting these emails.  Guaranteed.

Some of the hospitals also hold evening dinner meetings every few months based on a model called Finding Meaning in Medicine developed by Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, a professor at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine. A few hospitals also host annual retreats for doctors and their families.

Do you think doctors love going back out at night for these meetings?  Once again, the loss of control is the issue.  Emails and meetings may help but, without addressing the real issues, doctors will continue to fry.

And, by the way, I went on the Lumunos site and never saw any metrics or studies proving that it works.  I thought that stuff was supposed to be important?

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] 

  7 comments for “A Weekly Email Ends Physician Burnout

  1. DrPhil
    August 31, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Well the administrators are working on taking over medicine, so they start with psych….

  2. Pat
    August 30, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Weekly emails to combat physician burnout? Then monthly meetings??? That’s as good a parody as anything you ever had in Placebo Journal! ????????????

  3. Sir Allyagottadois
    August 30, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Burn out implies that we can’t live up to the standards “they” have set again blaming the whole problem on the physicians. Any administrator should have bedside experience. That should cut down the numbers significantly. Too many ” metrics” show that we are high priced, highly educated button pushing clerks. ” If a physician is doing a job that someone can do is wasting their time and talent for those individuals who cannot do our job.”

  4. HJR
    August 30, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Just wrap it up in some touchy-feely language with a dash of some home-spun pseudo-wisdom and commence cashing checks.

  5. Steve O'
    August 30, 2016 at 6:23 am

    I think they’ve hit on a critical point. Physicians have been left to themselves to maintain sanity. I propose a standardized physician Maintenance of Sanity (MOS) curriculum that’s mandatory for licensure, and maintenance of life insurance with suicide coverage. Physicians have all too often been negligent and careless in the maintenance of their sanity, and there are no standard best practices for Maintenance of Sanity.
    Perhaps a mandatory board certification in Sanity should be required for all physicians, with disciplinary action if they do not keep up with their Certified Sanity Equivalents (CSE). Perhaps the ABMS can coordinate with the State Boards and Medical Schools in developing a program, and credentialing and certification will necessarily contain a “sanity clause” for continuing enrollment.
    What, there ain’t no Sanity Clause? Sheesh.

    • Pat
      August 30, 2016 at 8:53 am

      Excellent suggestion.

  6. August 30, 2016 at 6:01 am

    What the hell? “Finding meaning in medicine”????
    Medicine had meaning until they stripped it out

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