9 initiatives emerging from the physician burnout crisis

A physician burnout crisis has emerged that has widespread implications for clinicians and patients alike. Not only is it causing national staff shortage issues, but burnout is changing the profession and the industry.

Burnout is resulting in worse physician mental health. A Medscape survey found 23 percent of physicians are depressed, 9 percent have thoughts of suicide and nearly half reported feeling they met the criteria for a psychiatric disorder during medical school but did not seek treatment, possibly due to mental health stigma.

Burnout coupled with common workplace stressors — such as increased documentation requirements, a lack of available support staff, time devoted to prior authorization needs, nonmedical administrators overreaching into medical decision-making and resource allocation and turnover of staff — have led to an exodus of physicians from the profession. The Massachusetts Medical Society, for example, found that 27 percent of physicians plan to leave medicine within two years.

With fewer staff and increased burnout, physicians and hospitals are turning to new solutions to keep physicians in the field and bring joy back to the profession. Here are nine things physicians, hospitals health systems are changing in light of the burnout crisis:

Physician initiatives:

  1. 3 ways a Kaiser Permanente physician aims to restore joy in medicine

  2. Viewpoint: Why physicians are turning to side hustles

  3. Viewpoint: Improve physician resiliency with a 'badness' plan

Hospital and health system initiatives:

  1. Expanding medical residency programs may help curb physician shortage

  2. 33 states where physicians can earn multistate licenses

  3. Are zero-tolerance policies for patient bias on the right track?

  4. AMA shares 3 tips for preventing violence in hospitals

  5. AdventHealth grows medical school partnerships

  6. Want to lower physician burnout by 26%? Hire a scribe, study says

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