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[Infographic Guide] 10 Steps for a Successful Culture Assessment

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A good company culture can be the difference between recruiting and keeping the best healthcare professionals and a constant recruiting struggle. This infographic guide outlines the 10 steps to take for a successful assessment.

JPS-Cultural-Blueprint-FINAL

 

10 steps for a Successful Culture Assessment

  1. Identify sponsor and/or culture project team
  2. Executive team defines the leadership practice critical for achieving the mission
  3. Select culture assessment
  4. Communicate to all what’s coming and how they’ll be involved
  5. Administer online culture assessment
  6. Review results with executive team
  7. Plan roll-out of results to all and hold group feedback sessions
  8. Explain next steps and assign action team
  9. Close the gaps to reach top workplace benchmarks
  10. Re-survey after 12 to 18 months

Visit our thought leadership page for more helpful presentations, case studies, and infographics.

Why Physicians Should Consider Flyover States

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We’ve all heard the references to “flyover” America when talking about cities and states in the central regions of the United States. Often times, these so-called flyover states are overlooked by physicians and advanced practice professionals when considering their next job opportunity. Doing that might turn out to be a bigger mistake than you realize.  Considering opportunities in less populous states and rural communities can be the best way to land a job that provides a combination of work/life balance and quality of life that may not be found in sprawling urban areas. With physician burnout and unmanageable work schedules increasingly at the forefront, now is the time to discover parts of this country you never knew existed.

The Reason Why

Your career should not be all about a big salary. A $380,000 salary in San Francisco or “the Big Apple” won’t get what you can with $240,000 in Duluth or Colorado Springs. Imagine being able to practice medicine outside of a bureaucracy, spending time with patients instead of managing quotas, and then actually having a life outside of the workplace.  Does that sound like something you can get into?

Let’s take a look at states that have wide open spaces and a lot of physician opportunities for those who are ready to make a change.

Minnesota

The ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes’ is an outdoor lover’s dream. From recreational water sports activities in the summer to ice skating and fishing in the winters. In Minnesota, weekend retreats to a cabin on the lake is a family tradition that goes back generations.  One fact about Minnesota that you may not know is that it has one of the most highly educated populations in the country, second only to Massachusetts.

Wisconsin

Another state with a variety of physician and advanced practice opportunities is the ‘Dairy State,’ Wisconsin.  If you are a fan of cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products, you can’t go wrong here. From the quaint charm of Egg Harbor to the bustling metropolis of Milwaukee, Wisconsin has something for everyone. Year round festivals, professional and college sports galore, and outdoor activities of all types, Wisconsin is a great state to raise a family.

Colorado

Do you like to ski and wish you had more time for that and other winter sports? Colorado is famous for being the ultimate ski destination. Finding your physician opportunity in the ‘Rocky Mountain State’ means that you will not only be close to world-class ski resorts but actually have the time to enjoy them. Coloradans are health fanatics, and there are plenty of outdoor fitness opportunities allowing you to enjoy the more than 300 days of sunshine a year.

Texas

While not typically included in discussions of flyover states, there is much more to Texas than the big cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin. Rural opportunities for physicians abound in Texas, and many are in and around locations in the southern part of the state. If you have always wanted to be near the water, the Houston/Galveston area is situated near the Gulf Coast, while farther inland the beauty and history found near San Antonio is hard to pass up. Texas is very financially friendly as the economy is booming and homeownership is easier than in highly taxed and more regulated states.

Start Looking

Now is the perfect time to reconsider your career options. Opportunities reside all over the country and if balance is something that is missing in your life, take a flyer on a flyover state and see if it is right for you.

Jackson Physician Search is an industry leader in placing physicians and advanced practice professionals into opportunities that provide them with the work/life balance and professional growth they need.  Get started by contacting one of our physician recruitment professionals today, or use our powerful job search tool and discover some of the incredible opportunities we have available.

Community Health Center Physician Recruitment Checklist

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The growing demand for affordable primary care, especially among underserved patient populations, has fueled the need for innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues. National Health Centers Week raises awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers to reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine and provide quality health care in the context of the individual, family, and community.

But, the shortage of physicians and advanced practice providers is especially acute for community health centers. Practice leaders are looking for a special breed of clinician who are:

  • Great listeners, innovative thinkers, and team players.
  • Enthusiastic about caring for patients whose social, educational, family and community environment may adversely affect their health and well-being.

Get ready to recruit into this challenging setting by adopting a 30-point checklist which will strengthen your recruitment and retention efforts. It will enhance your chances of hiring and keeping providers who are a great fit and will embrace your practice opportunities in rural or urban communities.

These four sections highlight how to be a “recruitment ready” FQHC and are covered in more detail on the full checklist:

 

Lay a Strong Pre-Search Foundation

Clearly define and establish the groundwork for the position and be ready to make a strong offer to the ideal candidate. The Pre-search Checklist covers key aspects of planning that create an efficient and successful recruiting process. It covers the essentials such as where they will practice, consensus on what qualities and skills you require, how they will be paid, and how much is available for incentives and loan repayment assistance.

Prepare the Interview Team

The best game plan fails if even one team member fumbles in their interview team responsibilities. That’s why almost every point on the Interview Checklist starts with “who.” From identifying who will develop the itinerary to who will share the organization’s vision, you must customize each interview to reflect the needs and motivations of the candidate, while putting your best foot forward. Leave no aspect of the site visits to chance – because you only get one – to make a lasting impression on your candidate.

Plan for Post-interview Follow-up

Best practices dictate that you commit to a firm and timely schedule for delivering a verbal offer, followed by the contract. The parameters and process for making the hiring decision and extending the offer should be planned well in advance. Following the Post-interview Checklist will help you plan for and deliver a rapid response. The additional benefit? Demonstrating to the candidate that your organization is serious about hiring them.

Deliver on Promises During New Provider Launch

It’s proven that long-term retention starts during recruitment and extends through onboarding and beyond. Yet, the baton is frequently dropped between the recruitment and post-hire operational teams, leaving a newly recruited provider wondering if they made the right decision. With many candidates accepting the positions more than a year before they finish training, it’s critical to establish a roadmap for keeping the provider engaged from acceptance through onboarding. The New Provider Launch Checklist outlines key requirements for successfully ramping your physicians and advanced practitioners into practice and ensuring their families are welcomed in the community from day one.

 

Download the full 30-point “Ready to Recruit Checklist” for community health centers, and contact us for more help in making your community health center’s recruitment efforts successful.

JPS Recruiters Live: Optimizing for Your Children’s Education

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You can watch the recording of this installment of JPS Recruiters Live on our Facebook Page. (10 mins.)

Often, we get asked by doctors that are looking to relocate for help with assessing schools and school districts. We know that the education of their children is very important to them. At Jackson Physician Search, we actively research school systems, neighborhoods, cost of living, and other information so we can match physicians to jobs that fit their career and personal needs.

Resources for Assessing Schools and School Districts

There are plenty of good websites for checking the general “temperature” of a school or school district. It’s important to remember that the ratings are primarily based on standardized test scores. When there is additional information on student outcomes and growth or college preparedness, that is also weighed. Not all states report on those metrics though. Some sites use datasets such as community demographics, real estate sites, Wikipedia, etc. Keep in mind, sometimes that data is out of date or irrelevant, so be sure to check the source date of the information.

Links

  • nces.ed.gov/ – This is a great site that has information about public, private, and charter schools. There are many reports, with lots of data, that you can use to evaluate schools.
  • schooldigger.com – This site has its own ranking system called the “SchoolDigger Rank”. Their database has detailed profiles for over 136,000 schools. They track enrollment data, test scores, crime data, real estate data, etc.
  • greatschools.org – GreatSchools is the leading national nonprofit for school ratings. They also have articles, tips, and interactive tools to help parents support their children’s academic efforts.

What’s Most Important in Assessing Education Opportunities

There are more important factors than picking the “right” school. There is a strong correlation between academic achievement and the highest level of education of the parents, especially the mother, and the emphasis placed on learning in the home. When there is an expectation of academic excellence in the home and a real-world example of academic excellence, students have a much higher probability of academic success. This is great news for the families of physicians and scholars like yourself.

The School Is Only One Element of Academic Success

In many ways, it is more relevant to research specific resources versus overall school rating. Some schools offer resources such as before and after-school programs, and special needs assistance. If your student is college bound, they need to be prepared to differentiate themselves from other college applicants. At Harvard University, one of their four main considerations for admissions is interests and activities. More specifically, extracurricular activities, athletics, and community involvement. Your work-life balance can also have an impact on academic success. How much time will you have to get kids to soccer practice, help them with homework, and teach life lessons?

If you have more questions about how our expert physician recruiters research and evaluate the positions we staff for, please reach out to us using the contact us form below.

Keeping up with the Dr. Joneses… and Other Ways to Sabotage Your Physician Job Search

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As an in-demand physician, the chances are pretty good that you have plenty of opportunities to consider when and if you are in the market for a new practice opportunity.  There is much more to think about when comparing opportunities than just base salary.  If you are experiencing feelings of burnout in your current position, then obviously you will want the new job to be structured differently.

Instead of jumping from the frying pan into the fire, choose an opportunity that is going to benefit your work-life balance rather than putting yourself into the same situation with a bigger salary.  Don’t fall into the trap of worrying about how much “so and so” makes, or what toys they have (The truth is they don’t have time to enjoy them!).

Focus on an opportunity that caters to the reasons you became a physician in the first place and allows you to enjoy the benefits of earning enough and having the balance to enjoy it all.  Let’s take a look at how physicians can weigh opportunities without worrying about keeping up with the Dr. Joneses.

Evaluate Your Options

How much is enough?  According to the BLS, wages for physicians are among the highest of all occupations.  Since there is such high demand for physicians, you should be able to find a position that has adequate compensation.  For you, personal motivations will play a greater role in answering the how much is enough question.

When moving to a new area, one of the factors that many people underestimate is the relative cost of living.  For example, some states have no state income taxes, others have very high taxes. The cost of living in a more rural area will be less than in a large urban area. For a quick thumbnail of how the cost of living compares between your current location and a new location, check out this cost of living calculator.

Another consideration that will impact your ideal salary is any current student loan debt and the plans for repayment.  According to the AMA, on average physicians are finishing medical school with close to $170,000 in student loan debt.  On the bright side, the National Health Services Corps is offering generous loan forgiveness grants and repayments for physicians entering certain specialties or relocating to underserved and rural regions.

The Bottom Line

Physicians in today’s healthcare environment should not be concerned about how much your annual salary is, but more about what you do with the money you earn, and if it is enough to fulfill your needs.  Are you planning to send your kids to private schools, take big annual vacations, or own property for camping getaways?  Whatever those personal goals look like, you should have the opportunity to make it happen.  The key is to have a sound financial plan and seek out the career opportunities that drive you closer to achieving personal fulfillment.

If you are ready to find a position that blends your financial needs with your personal needs, talk to a Jackson Physician Search recruitment expert today.  Or, to get a jump start on exploring any of our nationwide opportunities, check out our powerful job search tool here.

Read Between the Lines to Understand the 2018 Physician Compensation Surveys

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Each year, a variety of physician salary surveys are published with varying degrees of detail and context. Charts and tables deliver a wealth of information, but you need to read between the lines to understand how each report defines compensation and the larger trends driving it.

Here is a brief overview of recently published surveys to get you started.

Modern Healthcare Physician Compensation Survey

This leading media source publishes a round-up of compensation data for 23 specialties as reported by 12 organizations, from recruitment and consulting firms to industry associations. This three-page survey reports average starting salaries, rather than average incomes. Salary and bonuses are included, but insurance, stock options, and benefits are not. Data points include:

  • Average cash compensation for that specialty
  • Percentage change between the current and previous year

Key Takeaways:

  • Physician pay increases appear to be slowing, possibly due to the rise in hospital employment, where salary (vs. bonuses) make up most of compensation for physicians.
  • Although primary care specialties are among the lowest paid, they scored the highest average starting pay increases.
  • Emergency, internal, family, and hospital medicine physicians saw average year-to-year pay increases of more than 3%.

MGMA DataDive Provider Compensation Data

The Medical Group Management Association gathers W-2 data directly from practice managers at over 5,800 organizations nationwide, providing a dataset of approximately 136,000 providers. Their data offers a complete picture of over 140 physician specialties based upon practice size, region, metropolitan statistical area and more. Benchmarks include:

  • Compensation – Including total pay, bonus/incentives, retirement and more
  • Productivity – Work RVUs, total RVUs, professional collections and charges
  • Benefit Metrics – Hours worked per week/year and weeks of vacation

Key Takeaways:

  • Primary care physician compensation increased by more than 10% over the past five years.
  • Depending on specialty, the difference in compensation between states can be in the range of $100,000 to $270,000.
  • Family medicine physicians saw a 12% rise in total compensation over the past five years, while their median number of work relative value units (wRVUs) remained flat. This reflects higher signing bonuses, continuing medical education stipends, relocation reimbursement and other cash incentives to attract and retain physicians.

AMGA Medical Group Compensation and Productivity Survey

The American Medical Group Association survey represents more than 105,000 clinical providers. Participants are primarily large multispecialty medical groups and integrated health systems. The average number of providers per participant group was approximately 380. Data includes:

  • Compensation
  • Net collections
  • Work RVUs
  • Compensation-to-productivity ratios

Key Takeaways:

  • Although compensation per relative value unit (work RVU) was higher than average, 2017 was the first-year physician compensation increased by less than 2% in over a decade.
  • Compensation increased only +0.89%.
  • The national median showed a decline in physician productivity by a weighted average of -1.63%, possibly related to growing administrative burdens on providers.

Doximity Physician Compensation Report

Doximity is known as the largest medical social network in the country – with over 70% of US doctors as verified members. Their report draws on the responses of more than 65,000 licensed U.S. doctors in 40 medical specialties. Physicians who are verified Doximity users can access an interactive salary map to drill down on compensation data combined with housing cost insights.

Their public report focuses on year-over-year trends in:

  • Physician compensation across Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)
  • The gap in pay between male and female physicians
  • Absolute physician compensation across specialty, state, region, and gender

Key Takeaways:

  • There was a 4% increase in physician compensation nationally.
  • Less populated MSAs tend to have higher average compensation compared to larger cities.
  • The presence of large medical schools in an area ensures a stronger pipeline of doctors competing for a relatively fixed number of positions, which causes a dampening effect on compensation.

Medscape Physicians Compensation Report

Medscape is one of the most popular sources for physicians who use the report to access high-level salary trends and gauge how their peers feel about the challenges and rewards of practicing medicine. More than 20,000 physicians in 29 specialties responded to the online survey, and the results were weighted to the American Medical Association’s physician distribution by specialty. Information reported:

  • Annual Compensation by Specialty
  • Year-to-year Trends
  • Regional Averages

Key Takeaways:

  • Employed physicians comprised 69% of the respondent group versus 26% who are self-employed, with 5% not reporting.
  • Demand for specialists to help address behavioral health issues and the opioid crisis surged, highlighted by a year-to-year increase in psychiatry and physical medicine/rehabilitation.
  • Physicians cited altruistic reasons as the top three most rewarding parts of their job, with “making good money at a job I like” ranking fourth.

Physician Salary Calculator and Resource Center

To further contribute to the resources available to physicians, we offer a physician compensation resource center that includes an interactive calculator with data compiled from published industry sources, as well as proprietary data from our search assignments. Customizable calculator fields encompass the components that are typically included in a compensation package, including:

  • Benefits
  • Sign-on Bonus
  • Residency stipend
  • Relocation assistance
  • Student loan repayment
  • Bonuses for productivity and quality

The Physician Salary Calculator enables you to:

  • Easily access customized physician compensation data
  • Drill down by specialty, state, and type of location
  • Get instant results and have your report emailed to you

Your results will instantly show a competitive market-based scenario that breaks out base salary, benefits, hiring incentives and bonuses. The calculator is unique in its design for use with an offer in hand, or if you are considering relocation and want to see how far your current compensation would stretch in a different state or type of community.

In addition to the salary calculator, our resource center features relevant physician compensation articles and videos.

A Final Piece of Advice

For any practice opportunity, making an apples-to-apples comparison can be confusing. When negotiating, ask all the questions needed to fully understand the components of your compensation package. Industry insiders and experienced physician recruiters can be valuable resources. If you would like to speak to a recruiter, use the Contact Us form below.

Take Time to Assess Your Surroundings During Your On-Site Interview

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With competition for your services as a physician being so fierce, healthcare organizations are increasingly looking for individuals who fit their culture in addition to having the necessary skills to succeed.

While administrators are going out of their way to attract and hire doctors who are a good fit, it is important that you do the same for yourself. If you are being brought in for an on-site interview, it is a good indication that they think your values and skills are a match for the organization.  Don’t pass up the opportunity to do some reconnaissance of your own about the organization as well as the community.  Is it a place you can envision settling into?  A place you might even want to raise a family?  Fortunately, like anyone who is in a high-demand career, you have the opportunity to focus on finding a job that fits your career and life goals.

Think About Your Time Away from the Job

If you are going to avoid burnout, you have to have access to things that you like to do to recharge your batteries.  Do you like to fish and hike? Then check out your proximity to parklands.  Maybe you are a cycler or a runner.  You can search online for local running or bicycling clubs. Another underutilized resource for individuals who are relocating is the local chamber of commerce.  People work for the chamber because they know everybody in town and are connected to everyone who matters.  You can connect with them online, it’s a great place to start your research.

Spend Some Time in the Community

Make your way around the downtown or take a drive in the suburbs, it is important to get a feel for the speed and vibrancy of life there.  Strike up a random conversation with the person who is filling up their gas tank at the pump next to you.  You have made your career by gleaning health information from strangers, it is just as easy to learn about non-health related things in the same way.

Assess the Facility Environment

What are your thoughts as you walk through the front doors? Do the folks at the front desk have a smile on their face?  How about the other clinicians?  What can you read from their body language?  Head over to the coffee shop or the cafeteria and strike up a conversation with any physicians or residents you come across.  You might be surprised what you can learn from a little human intelligence, and it will help you in the interview process.

Now, that you have your own sense of the community, the facility, and the people who work there, there is a frame of reference for you to lean on during the interview.  You may have learned something that you want to confirm or ask about. The members of the interview team will measure you up at the same time you can measure them against your recon experience. While it may feel a bit like a spy novel, we are talking about your career and your happiness and engagement in that career.

Jackson Physician Search recruiters personally visit their client’s location so they can help candidates accurately evaluate fit.

If you want to know more about any of our physician opportunities, please contact us.

How To Advance Your Physician Career With a New Job

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As you look to advance your physician career with a new job, the most important question you must ask yourself is why are you considering a change?  Your reasons will drive how you approach your job search and help you make the best decision when evaluating opportunities.

Physicians and Advanced Practice professionals are living examples of how supply and demand works based on the wide variance between current need and the number of practicing caregivers. In 2015, the Association of American Medical Colleges commissioned IHS Inc. (now IHS Markit), to analyze the state of physician supply and demand through 2025.  According to the report, based on demand, the deficit of available physicians will be between 46,100 and 90,400 by 2025.

What this means for doctors and advanced practice providers is that opportunities are plentiful and competition for your services is higher than ever.  The time is right to advance your career with a new job.  Here are things to consider:

Finding the right fit for you and your career.

Fortunately, having chosen a career that is in such demand, you have plenty of options.  Hospital administrators are finding out that culture and fit are far more important to physician retention and engagement than ever before considered.  For you, this means that you can take the time to weigh your options and select a position that fits your personal or professional life.  It also means you can take a position across town or across the country.  If you’re looking for a lifestyle change, chances are there is a position available to facilitate that change.

Step up the career ladder.

Have you reached a point in your career where you want to have more say in how things are done in the workplace?  Many experienced physicians are deciding to explore leadership positions. As a physician executive, the leadership and management within healthcare organizations is a natural next step.  Hospital systems, medical schools, even insurance companies all need leaders with your skills and experiences. If you envision being in the C-suite one day, the time to begin that climb is now.

Shape the next generation of healthcare professionals.

If you still enjoy patient care but need a change from day to day patient-facing positions, teaching the next generation of physicians may be an option. You can impart your wisdom and experiences to third- and fourth-year medical students, train residents in their specialty, or teach physician assistants.

No matter which direction you want your career path to take, the good news is that the job market is robust and anyone who is committed to making the most of their career will have ample opportunity to do so.  Take some time and brush up your CV or resume.  You can ease the burden of searching for a new job joining forces with an experienced physician recruitment team like Jackson Physician Search.  Our physician recruitment experts take the time to understand your needs, and our nationwide reach means that you will be exposed to the opportunities that provide you with the best fit for your future.

If you’re ready to get started, browse our current physician opportunities.

 

What Physicians Can Do to Avoid Burnout

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We have all experienced feelings of burnout at different points in our career, being overwhelmed, depressed, and other negative reactions to our work.  For our nation’s physicians, according to recent surveys, these feelings of burnout are pervasive and seemingly getting worse.  In fact, in a 2018 Medscape report, almost half of physicians surveyed reported suffering from symptoms of burnout.  When a doctor is suffering from burnout, naturally the quality of patient care suffers.

The reasons for a doctor feeling the effects of burnout vary between large systems and small and differ between specialties, but common themes exist when the causes are discussed.

  • Today’s physicians will almost unanimously assert that they spend far too much of their time performing clerical tasks. A time study sponsored by the American Medical Association showed that for every hour a physician spends with patients, they spend up to two hours creating notes, documenting phone calls, ordering tests, reviewing results, and other non-patient-facing functions.
  • Physicians feel disillusioned because other tasks take away from the reasons they went to medical school in the first place. You practice medicine because of your desire to treat and help patients.
  • The added burden of clerical tasks and non-patient related activities is causing doctors to spend too much time “off the clock” and on their own time performing documentary tasks. Physicians are losing control over their personal time with family and losing the battle for life-work balance.

The extent of physician burnout is well-documented.  Across the country, hospital system leaders are finally treating it as the challenge that has become.  Let’s look at a few ways that physicians can cope with feelings of burnout.

  1. Recognize the symptoms and admit when there is a problem. Physicians are often looked at as “Superman” and “Wonder Woman” because of their heroic efforts to save lives and the commitment they have made to years of education and residency to earn their place as healthcare professionals. It is important for doctors to recognize the signs of burnout and take action.
  2. Get involved. Modern healthcare system administrators, hospital executives, and others in the “C-Suite” recognize that there is a burnout problem and most are actively working on ways to solve the problem.  Be a part of the solution and lend your voice to potential solutions.  Physician burnout will never be solved in a vacuum, and it is too critical an issue to leave it for someone else to solve.
  3. Take vacation time. When the time rolls around for your vacation, a single week is not enough to recharge your batteries. Two weeks is a more appropriate amount of time to fully disconnect from the workplace and enjoy quality time with your loved ones. You might even have the option to take a sabbatical.
  4. Diet and exercise. Doctors spend a lot of time counseling their patients that the key to a healthier life is through diet and exercise. That is such good advice, medical professionals should heed it themselves.  Medical studies have shown regular exercise can reduce feelings of stress and depression.  Further, eating healthier and balanced meals will promote better energy and help maintain ideal body weight.
  5. Talk to a mentor. Having a mentor is advisable for every type of career.  After all, it is always helpful to talk to someone who may have experienced the same things or has navigated difficult times in their career. A mentor is someone who can be used as a sounding board for ideas or just be there to listen and interject sage advice.  Holding stress or feelings of burnout inside will cause those feelings to escalate talking about them with someone is always helpful.

Physician burnout is real and finding ways to alleviate the growing problem is a concern for the entire healthcare community.  Each organization needs to understand the levels of burnout being experienced by their teams and work to determine the root cause.  Developing new systems, redesigning clinical procedures, and improving the physician work environment is going to be a team effort.

Put the Flame Out on Physician Burnout

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Summer is in full swing with backyard barbecues, kids splashing in the pool, and friends and family are gathered around the yard chatting about last night’s little league game.  Laughter fills the air until you turn towards the grill to find smoke billowing out the sides.  Oh no, the burgers are flaming out, and you were too distracted to notice it happening.

While this is all too familiar with backyard chefs, the same thing may be happening to the physician in your healthcare system.  Recently, Stanford University School of Medicine anonymously surveyed almost 7,000 physicians, and the results were alarming.  More than 55% of those doctors reported experiencing symptoms of burnout, and 33% reporting high levels of fatigue.

It isn’t much trouble to replace the burgers that have burned out on the grill but losing physicians to burnout is much more serious and can cost millions!  The biggest mistake hospital administrators can make is ignoring the problem and hoping that it takes care of itself.  Organizations need to take an all-hands on deck approach to recognizing when burnout is impacting the medical staff, and most importantly what can be done to alleviate the problem before it becomes insurmountable.

Jackson Physician Search published a study focusing on the state of physician alignment with their employers, called The Physician Engagement Gap.  When physicians are engaged in the organization and are aligned with the company values and culture, they are happier and more productive. Unfortunately, the study shows that the levels of physician engagement have not changed positively over the past decade. Worse, hospital executive’s perception of physician engagement is higher than in reality.

There is no magic solution for combatting physician burnout.  Each organization may have a different solution or may have to create their own best practices to engage the team and create positive lasting change. Here are a few broad concepts that can be used to jumpstart your burnout prevention efforts:

  • Treat physician burnout as the serious problem that it presents to your organization.
  • Engage your physicians as part of the solution. Find out what issues or frustrations they have that are standing in the way of patient care. Much like lean manufacturing, continuous improvement through the fixing of broken patient care processes builds trust and relieves sources of frustration.
  • Understand that your team’s satisfaction is being impacted by Electronic Health Records. Work towards solving EHR frustrations and your physicians will free up more time for patient care and new patients.
  • Develop, Support and encourage participation in a Physician Wellness Program.
  • Actively work to cultivate and improve relationships with your physician team.

Lastly, the next time you are planning a backyard barbecue, think about starting similar gatherings for your team.  Smaller gatherings are always effective ways to promote the social aspects of team building.  In these smaller settings, you are exposed to people in a more relaxed setting and may learn more about who they are and what drives them to be healthcare professionals.  You might be surprised by how much you don’t know about them, but glad you learned.  Oh, and don’t forget to keep an eye on the burgers!