For Physicians and Nurses
Doctors and nurses are different from everyone else.

  • We have dedicated our lives to taking care of others when they are potentially at their worst.
  • Few other professions work the hours we work.
  • Few other professions involve a client opening themselves up physically and emotionally to the degree that our patients do with us.
  • Few others make life and death decisions on a regular basis.

Though we often don’t realize it, we are in positions of power to make a difference in how we do our work.

Too often these days it does not feel like it. We feel burned out and helpless against administration. In fact, in a 2014 survey, 54% of physicians reported at least one symptom of burnout and under 40% reported a sense of satisfactory work-live balance. Both were much worse than a previous survey 3 years earlier.

The symptoms of burnout include:
  • Exhaustion – physical and/or psychological
  • Cynicism – feeling disconnected from our organization and its purpose
  • Ineffectiveness – feeling like what we do does not really matter.

Of course, the reality is that our hospitals and clinics can’t function without us. We can take an active role in redesigning our work to resolve burnout symptoms and return to work-live balance. Talk to your leadership about this. It’s in their best interest to have you at your best.

If you would like to know more, feel free to contact me. I am happy to help.
Breakdown of Community

Breakdown of Community

Breakdown of Community results from the first three drivers of burnout. When people are overloaded, lack control, and receive insufficient reward, they begin to act in ways that protect themselves as individuals. Individual self-protection leads to Breakdown of Community. Continue Reading

ENABLING A PHYSICIAN-LED VISION

ENABLING A PHYSICIAN-LED VISION

Here is another vignette from our book Preventing Physician Burnout: Curing the Chaos and Returning Joy to the Practice of Medicine. I share it as a case study in physicians successfully addressing the second driver of burnout – Lack of Control – which I discussed in my post last Sunday. While not explicitly identifying their… Continue Reading

The Power of the Leader as Storyteller

The Power of the Leader as Storyteller

Most of us don’t understand the power of our greatest natural talents.   Each of us has something that comes very easily to us, so it feels unremarkable, yet others are in awe of us because that talent is difficult for almost everyone else. Few people recognize this, and so our greatest talents often remain underutilized.… Continue Reading

The EHR – A Root Cause of Physician Burnout

The EHR – A Root Cause of Physician Burnout

The most important thing that we do in health care is the healing interaction that takes place between a caregiver and a patient. The opportunity to participate in that sacred relationship, and to be of service to others, is why most every doctor went into medicine. The EHR, as we currently use it, is breaking that relationship and damaging our ability to heal. Continue Reading

A3 Thinking – Lean is a Natural Fit for Physicians

A3 Thinking – Lean is a Natural Fit for Physicians

A3 thinking is a problem solving approach that is at the heart of Lean. The Simpler problem-solving A3 includes nine steps or “boxes”. As a physician, I like following the A3 process because it takes the same logical approach that physicians use to evaluate and treat patients. Both are deeply rooted in the scientific method. Continue Reading

Are You Driving a Ferrari or a Porsche?

I recently was asked to work with a health system that is struggling with physician engagement in their Lean program. Nothing new about that. Doctors are so busy trying to take care of higher volumes of increasingly complex patients that they can’t afford the time to fix the dysfunctional workflows that stand in the way… Continue Reading