Fixing Physician Burnout is Easy!

In a Mayo Clinic Proceedings article entitled Executive Leadership and Physician Well-being: Nine Organizational Strategies to Promote Engagement and Reduce Burnout the authors were able to show how easy it is to fix this problem.  You can read it in its entirety if you want to learn that “engagement is the positive antithesis of burnout and is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption in work”. So who is up for some vigor?

For your amusement, here are the slides from the article:

See, it’s a piece of cake!

Let me stop the sarcasm right here.  First of all the title, Executive Leadership and Physician Well-Being, are terms that are diametrically opposed.  Maybe if they changed the title to Cutting Executive Leadership to Increase Physician Well-Being it would make much more sense?

Second of all, the absolute verbosity and confusion of these recommendations proves that these authors have no idea what they are talking about. Sure, the topic of physician burnout is hot right now so this will get them paid talks around the country and consultation gigs but it has NO USE in a practical situation.  But that doesn’t matter, right?

The bottom line is doctors need freedom.  Freedom from these idiot consultants.  Freedom from the oppressive administrators.  Freedom from the insurers.  Freedom from the government. Freedom from bogus quality metrics, freedom from pay-for-performance, and freedom from bureaucratic drag.

Problem solved.

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] 

  11 comments for “Fixing Physician Burnout is Easy!

  1. Kurt
    February 5, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Yeah,
    Freedom from a-hole insurance outfits when I get a letter from them that
    says, I’m not compliant because patient “X,Y,Z” hasn’t had a mammogram,
    colonoscopy, is not on a freaking ACE inhibitor or STATIN! ’cause
    they’re diabetic. I look in the freaking record and I document that the
    patient(s) decline……decline……decline said recommended tests, procedures or medications because THEY DON’T WANT TO HAVE THEM?
    WTF? I tell the males with high PSA’s that a prostate biopsy is a 15 minute
    procedure once they get the ultrasound probe in there. In and out in no time. Can drive yourself home. Colonoscopy? Piece ‘o cake. Prep not so bad with two bottles of Mag Citrate and just tell the anesthesia person to
    “put you down” and you’ll be cutting your grass an hour after you get home.
    The problem is that people/patients have the absolute right to be
    “STUPID” in this country. I’m ok with that. I try but it’s not my fault that
    in spite of my best efforts to tell folks how easy it is this stuff is to get,
    they say “NO!”. I go home with a clean slate except for the ITB’s
    “Ivory Tower Bastards” blaming me for sub optimal care.
    This is where DPC shines. Don’t want it? Fine. Just document it and move on.

    • Doug Farrago
      February 5, 2017 at 8:03 am

      Kurt, you are finally embracing DPC? Thanks!

  2. AR
    February 1, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Burnout comes from administrators demanding the impossible. Where do administrators get their ideas about what physicians need to be doing? From our physician “leadership” and “researchers”. They are the ones telling insurance companies and government what we need to be doing. These administrators are only doing what the bigwigs tell them to demand of us—we need to lay blame where it’s due—physician “leadership”!

  3. LJSlossMD
    January 30, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    How to find the source of the problem: identify the individuals and groups who are happy, well-paid, well rested and secure. The question was most succinctly enunciated 2000± years ago by some Roman sage who asked, “cui bono?” For whose benefit is the current state of healthcare designed? That would be senior administration in hospitals, insurance companies, big Pharma, large group practices and one might possibly add professional societies, including the AMA and your state medical society. For the rest of us, not so much.

    Now guess to which group the authors of that cloying Mayo mound of crap belong … and where they should be told to shove it.

  4. RSW
    January 30, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    “Most of these challenges (eg, improving the EHR) are not easily solved, and limited time (less than 5 min) should be spent on this aspect of the discussion.”

    Translation: We don’t give a flying f*** about physician burnout – we just want them to stay productive.

  5. Perry
    January 30, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    I’m getting burned out just looking at this…

  6. Steve O'
    January 30, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Whenever you see a helpful motivational & productivity like this one, you’ve got to ask –
    1) What assumptions are they making?
    2) What are they measuring?
    3) For whose benefit is this written?

    Let’s see…
    a) You’re all too f’ng dumb to keep from killing yourselves like lemmings. We have to show you pictures for you to understand what we are talking about.
    b) You’re a bunch of whiners that is destroying morale. (Like on Alcatraz – whine, whine whine!)
    c) You respond to questions with the truth. The culture of business is to kiss ass and stab backs – staff is stupidly honest. You keep telling us we suck – you just don’t get it!
    d) The more we try to guide you, the lazier you get. (There were similar problems with slaves before the Civil War.)

    “To facilitate honest self-appraisal, we ask our people to evaluate how well we live out our values through our all-staff survey. Although the commitment of our staff to the organization on this survey has been unwavering during the past 20 years, other aspects of this feedback are not always flattering. At the time of our 2011 staff survey, we received feedback from our physicians that they perceived erosion in the commitment of Mayo Clinic to its staff. In response, the Mayo Clinic Board of Governors commissioned a task force of physicians and scientists to identify where we had gotten off course.”

    This is PERESTROIKA. General Secretary Gorbachev tried to get the Soviet Union back on track, happy AND productive. Everyone walked off the job permanently.

    Genuine human beings, treated with respect and courtesy, can figure a lot of things out without being bossed around. Take, for example, patients. I ask them what THEY want out of the clinic visit, not what I want out of the clinic visit. If they want my stuff, fine. If not, honestly, fine too. Maybe next year.

    They’re running out of lipstick. And the pig still won’t hold still.

  7. Pat
    January 30, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Were these charts from Placebo Journal?

  8. HJR
    January 30, 2017 at 10:08 am

    F-ing A.

  9. drhockey
    January 30, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Very sad.
    I see more and more online medical articles about physician burnout, instead of treatment for heart disease, lung disease, renal disease, surgical complications, etc. This is not at all why I went through medical school and residency.

  10. Thomas Guastavino
    January 30, 2017 at 6:41 am

    Fixing burnout is easy. All physicians need to do is to learn how to “NO” and make it stick.

Comments are closed.