Returning Joy to Patient Care
Remember how you felt on your first day of medical school?

I remember feeling excited fortunate to embark on a journey into a profession in which I would make a difference in other people’s lives by helping them through some of their most challenging life events.

Through my training and decades of practicing family medicine, there were many times that I felt just that way, that I was making a real difference.

But there were also times that I felt overwhelmed, frustrated by the challenges of entering data into the EHR, angry at the latest requirement from insurers and regulators, and fatigued working hours after I got home at night making sure everything from the day was taken care of properly. Too often I could not fully focus on caring for my patients.

How do you feel now when you leave the hospital or clinic each day?

Do your scales tip more toward frustration and anger, or do you go home each evening calm and satisfied that you were able to make a difference?

By developing a Lean management system and culture, you can eliminate many of the barriers and frustrations to providing great patient care in a supportive environment.

You can Return Joy to your work and to your personal life. I encourage you to embrace this approach.

If you have questions about it, feel free to contact me. I am happy to help.
Physician Burnout Driver #3 – Insufficient Reward

Physician Burnout Driver #3 – Insufficient Reward

Today’s posting takes a deep dive into the third driver of physician burnout – Insufficient Reward.  When most of us think about the reward we receive from work, we first think about compensation.  Most doctors are paid relatively well.  Pay is an extrinsic reward.  Many will argue that what they are paid is not worth… 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

Removing Frustrations, Preventing Burnout

Removing Frustrations, Preventing Burnout

Here is the second in a series of vignettes from our book Preventing Physician Burnout: Curing the Chaos and Returning Joy to the Practice of Medicine.  In this post we’ll learn how, by removing frustrations from patient care, a small practice has dramatically reduced the burnout driver of work overload. Northeast Georgia Physicians Group (NGPG)… Continue Reading

Preventing Physician Burnout Now Available on Amazon

Preventing Physician Burnout Now Available on Amazon

Preventing Physician Burnout: Curing the Chaos and Returning Joy to the Practice of Medicine, is now available on Amazon. You can order the paperback version here. In addition, the Kindle edition will be available in about two weeks. My co-author, Diane Shannon, and I spent over a year researching this work, interviewing over 50 experts… Continue Reading

The Cost of Not Preventing Burnout

The Cost of Not Preventing Burnout

Can health care leaders afford to take actions preventing burnout in physicians?  Perhaps the better question to ask is, can they afford not to? In a recent letter published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Shanafelt et.al. describe the potential impact of a reduction in physician work effort and in the physician workforce due to increasing physician… Continue Reading

Are Patients First or Care Givers First? It Depends…

Are Patients First or Care Givers First? It Depends…

For the past decade at least, most health care organizations have had a Patients First initiative.  While it seems intuitively obvious that the customer of the health care organization should come first, this initiative, when pursued without a deep understanding of the care process, can result in unintended negative consequences that lead to burnout for physicians and… 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