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The Threat of Physician Burnout

July 10, 2009

Dr. Wes points to physician burnout as the biggest threat to health care reform and providing quality of care.

I think this sentiment sums up our society’s expectations of physicians nicely:

At the same time that we expect our doctors to be devoted, available, enthusiastic, meticulous and at the top of their game with perfect “quality” and “perfect performance,” while simultaneously cutting their pay, increasing documentation reqirements and oversight, limiting independence, questioning their professional judgement, and extending their working hours. We must become more efficient!

The demands and expectations placed on physicians are not foreign or hidden to those in medical school.  Those who don’t expect a long, tough journey are only deluding themselves.  However, as Dr. Wes points out, increasingly impossible demands coupled with pay cuts are only going to alienate some of the best physicians and drive them out of practice.

And here is some empiric evidence to backup the anecdotal evidence.

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