The statistics are clear: Physicians are burned out, miserable and trying to get out of the clinical practice of medicine, and women physicians are leading the pack at twice the level of burnout as their male colleagues.
This month, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education will decide whether interns should be allowed the same 28-hour shifts senior residents work instead of the current, 16-hour shift maximum.
Physicians have always had to be keenly aware of changes in healthcare, from new innovations to updated approaches to patient care. But these days, palliative care internist Amy Davis, DO, is also keeping one eye on healthcare policy developments emanating from Washington, D.C.
There is a primary care crisis in the United States. We know it because patients only get 8-12 minutes with their primary care physician (PCP) who interrupts them within about 18 seconds and never fully listens to them. Patients are sent for tests, given a prescription or referred to the specialist even though the PCP could—with more time—have figured out the problem without a test, prescription or referral.
Physician “burnout” has become a popular topic in medical journals. It is worthwhile to discuss this important topic so we can recognize the symptoms of burnout, seek help when necessary, and change our work environment to prevent burnout and its consequences.