AHC Addresses How to Prevent Physician Burnout

By Elizabeth Moore — News & Updates

Dr. Dike Drummond, in a 2015 article published by the American Academy of Family Physicians, acknowledged a previous researcher who stated, “Numerous global studies involving nearly every medical and surgical specialty indicate that one in every three physicians is experiencing burnout at any given time”. But what exactly is physician burnout?

The lot of us (including doctors) experience harrowing moments at work, life, etc. – but when does it begin to interfere with our health so much that it prevents us from doing what we do best? The criteria for physician burnout contains three key signs: physical and emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced sense of personal accomplishment. Physicians may verbally engage in negative sentiments concerning their patients. They may become cynical towards their patients, often becoming worn-out and bogged down by their jobs, thus putting their careers on hold and even in jeopardy.

According to an AMA article by Troy Parks, Emergency Medicine stands as the most affected specialty among doctors with physician burnout, representing roughly around 60%. The implications of physician burnout are tough for both doctors and patients, but various efforts have been made to create calming spaces to help doctors stay more in-tune with their tasks and environment. “One practice in Minneapolis, not far from the Mayo Clinic”, says Parks, “found a simple solution to provide their physicians and staff a space to ‘reset’. Hennepin County Medical Center, through their Office for Professional Worklife, gathers volunteers from each department to discuss the best ways the organization can address physician burnout. One of their ideas was to create a ‘reset room’ where physicians and other health professionals can retreat if they need a moment to recover from a traumatic event or just to get away for a moment. And this is just one of several ways Hennepin is helping their physicians.”

What more should be done to lessen physician burnout, and what are the steps needed to take us there? What tips can be provided to help fellow peers and educators ease the consequences of this matter? The American Health Council encourages discussions among our honored affiliates regarding the issues surrounding physician burnout. Contact us at: media@americanhealthcouncil.org

About the American Health Council:

The American Health Council is the nation’s only organization with a constituency representative of all sectors of the healthcare industry. From the coasts to the heartland, the American Health Council has drawn Affiliates from major metropolitan hubs and small communities. These Affiliates span generations and have reached different stages of their careers — from recent graduates to retirees. More information about the American Health Council and its mission can be found at: http://americanhealthcouncil.org.

Additionally, the American Health Council strives to provide recognition and support for those individuals and institutions making the difference in patients’ lives day in and day out. Throughout 2017, the AHC is honoring “America’s Best Doctors and Nurses,” as well as the nation’s best medical universities and hospitals. The American Health Council’s “Best in Medicine” and “Best in Nursing” awards programs honor the individuals and institutions that have contributed significantly to medicine and nursing, as well as the training and education of physicians and nurses. The most current selections for these honors may be viewed here: http://bestinmedicine.org and http://bestinnursing.org.

For media inquriries: media@americanhealthcouncil.org