I Can’t Believe It’s Not Burnout?

Big news from the ivory towers over a JAMA editorial.  There are some heated battles going between researchers and academics on whether to call the term “physician burnout” or “physician depression”.  Here is a taste:

  • “The term burnout has taken on meaning far beyond what is understood about it as an actual diagnosis or even a syndrome. The medical profession has taken a self-reported complaint of unhappiness and dissatisfaction and turned it into a call for action on what is claimed to be a national epidemic,” the editorial says.
  • “What is more important to note is the high level of depression as a criterion-based diagnosis, with a more clear understanding of pathophysiology and consequences including student, resident, and physician suicide. This would be a more worthy area of focus. It is possible that the use of the term ‘burnout’ has increased as a sort of more acceptable substitute for a diagnosis that still carries considerable stigma, namely depression,” he said.
  • “Effective responses have already been crafted. Two good systematic reviews and meta-analyses demonstrate effectiveness of interventions.  Nevertheless, we have much room to improve. Physicians and those they serve will benefit from continued research on the causes of burnout and associated development of more effective individual and organizational level interventions,” Trockel says.

The names of the people pontificating about this subject are irrelevant.  Why?  Because the one commonality between them all is that they DO NOT PRACTICE MEDICINE FULL TIME OR AT ALL!

Who cares what we call it?  We need to go after the cause and these same idiots that are quoted for these types of articles are the same idiots that caused it by agreeing to bogus metrics, insurance-based EMRs, quality measures and and on and on.  They created the mess and then pretend they didn’t.  They get the AMA and the AAFP and and the ACP and so on to agree to their recommendations and when those fail they come back later with brilliant solutions that fail again.

The system is broken because of these people and the organizations that support them.  I don’t know all the answers but one of them is to have physicians work with patients directly. We need to get the third parties out of the way, let the free market work and then let’s see who gets burned out.

And I have proof this works.

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