Where the AMA is focusing efforts to address physician burnout in 2023

The American Medical Association plans to focus on reducing inbox burden as a way to combat physician burnout this year, according to the organization's vice president of professional satisfaction. 

"We know that many physicians spend more than half their day on tasks that don't require their medical education, the 11 to 14 years of investment in training to become a physician," Christine Sinsky, MD, the AMA's VP of professional satisfaction, said in an interview with Todd Unger, the AMA's chief experience officer. 

Dr. Sinksy also cited numerous studies that demonstrate how physician burnout rates have risen since the start of the pandemic, along with a statistic that patient portal messages have risen 157 percent from prepandemic levels.

"The number of low-value notifications that are clogging up the inbox for physicians has just become unmanageable. And so physicians say, 'I would stay in practice, but I cannot give up several hours of my personal time every night to clearing the inbox,'" Dr. Sinsky said. 

In response, a "primary area of focus" for 2023 is on reducing inbox burden. The AMA is sponsoring several research projects centered around this challenge and is cosponsoring a national conference on the inbox at UCSF in San Francisco. The AMA is also developing an inbox reduction checklist that will be released soon, Dr. Sinsky said. 

Listen to the full interview here

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