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The Link Between Physician Burnout and Cultural Fit

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Physicians today are suffering the effects of burnout at higher rates than ever before.  If someone were to make an assumption about what is causing physician dissatisfaction and burnout, compensation might be at the top of your list, but you would be incorrect. According to the Medscape National Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2018, compensation was fifth on the list of burnout contributors.  By taking a close look at the survey we see that many of the factors that are contributing to physician stress and burnout can be attributed to organizational culture. Physicians are saying the issues that are contributing to burnout include being bogged down with bureaucratic tasks, unmanageable work schedules, lack of respect and awareness from administrators, and issues with electronic health records.

Some of the contributors to burnout listed by survey respondents include bureaucratic tasks, lack of respect from the administration, lack of autonomy, feeling like a cog in the wheel, and emphasis on profits over patients, among others. An organizational culture that promotes engagement, respect, communication, fairness, etc. makes for a healthier environment for staff and administrators alike.

Is culture really that much of a factor? The answer is a resounding yes.  According to a research study conducted for LinkedIn, 70% of professionals in the United States indicated that they would not work at a leading organization if it meant having to deal with bad workplace culture.  Another 65% of respondents would accept lower compensation if they were working in a great environment.

As a physician, you have options in this evolving healthcare industry.  If you are unhappy in your current position or feel that you tolerate working in an environment that is not aligned with your values, you probably want to reassess your surroundings. Proactive healthcare organizations are working through the process of understanding their culture and finding employees who will fit.

There are some simple questions you can ask yourself to see if culture is contributing to feelings of burnout or dissatisfaction.

  • Do you feel there is a shared mission that is clearly defined and followed at every level of your organization?
  • Are behaviors and corporate decisions aligned with your own personal values?
  • Is communication transparent from top to bottom?
  • Does the organization value things like work/life balance and demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of the employees?

Answering those four simple questions, and you will notice that none involved compensation, should give you an idea of whether or not it is time to seek new opportunities.  If you have never had the opportunity to work in an environment that fosters a strong organizational culture, you don’t know how much of an impact it has on your personal fulfillment, job satisfaction, and passion for the practice of medicine.

To see for yourself how finding a cultural fit can help you take your career to the next level, speak with a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional today. There are available opportunities locally and across the country, let us help you find your perfect fit.

 

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