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Burnout

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Action medicine is a direct primary care practice. This is not concierge medicine. For a relatively small monthly fee we can be your primary care doctor. This is a direct relationship between the patient and the physician. We do not bill insurance and there is no copayment. We have same day and next day visits. You can contact us by text messaging, email or telephone whenever you like.This is taking medical care back to the way it should be.

Physician burnout has been trending in the news lately. Most of the statistics that I’m going to mention have come from Medscape’s annual physician lifestyle report of 2018. In a survey of 15,000 physicians from 29 specialties, 42% complained of burn out, 3% were clinically depressed and 12% admitted to feeling down and this is probably under reported because physicians live in fear of admitting depression as this could potentially cause loss of license or privileges. Critical care physicians were nearly 50% burned out and family medicine physicians were number three at 47% and the lowest burn out was found in plastic surgeons at 23%. Women were 10% more likely to be burned out then men. Burn out seems to increase with age and only 35% for young physicians and 50% age 45 to 54. The beginning of burn out probably starts in residency training with a culture for working long hours and putting personal needs aside. One third of physicians said that being burned out caused them to be less patient and less engaged with their patients and 40% said they were less engaged with staff and peers.

Contributing factors:
56% stated it is because of the bureaucracy or paperwork
39% too many hours at work
26% lack of respect from employers, colleagues and staff
24% because of increased computerization
24% poor compensation

Things that would improve burn out:
More manageable schedule
A decrease in government regulations
More reasonable patient loads
Increased autonomy
Greater respect from employer
More time off
Greater schedule flexibility

The four least happy specialties are family medicine, internal medicine, critical care and cardiology. The four most happy specialties are ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, pathology and dermatology. 300 to 400 physicians commit suicide yearly which is two times the national average.

At least for primary care I have a solution for burn out, direct primary care.

1) eliminate bureaucracy: Done. Paperwork has to do with what the patient tells you, what your senses tell you, and what the tests tell you and then what do you and the patients do with that information. You’re not documenting for insurance companies so you can game the system for a more expensive higher level visit. You are documenting what is important and not so a bureaucracy can mine your data for their welfare.
2) Too many hours at work: You set your own hours and take the time off if you want. You can be home on the farm and handle most things by text or phone calls. My patients rarely bother me on holidays or weekends because they can always talk to me or see me during the office hours.
3) More reasonable patient load: See five or six patients a day instead of thirty and spend up to an hour with each one.
4) Increased autonomy: No brainer.
5) Poor compensation: In many cases reduce your overhead by 60% by staff reduction, less office space, less expensive electronic health record and not having to Bill and re-submit to insurance companies.

So if you are interested in quitting the rat race I suggest you take a course in direct primary care and reach out to any docs in your area already living the dream. You can contact me at [email protected] and you can check out www.dpcfrontier.com/mapper to find direct primary care doctors in your area. You can also check out DPC New England

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