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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Why are doctors burned out? Our health care system is a complicated mess

By Steven Adelman and Harris A. Berman
Originally posted December 15, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

Burnout and dissatisfaction with work-life balance are particularly acute for adult primary care physicians — the central figures in our unsystematic health care “system.” A system that was already teetering in 2011 has been stressed by the addition of 20 million covered lives by the Affordable Care Act. It’s little wonder that in Massachusetts, where near-universal coverage has filled up the offices of primary care physicians, malpractice claims against them are rising. Patients and physicians alike complain about the unsatisfying brevity of office visits, and many harbor intense feelings of antipathy towards cumbersome electronic health records and growing administrative burdens.

We believe that to alleviate the stress and burnout in the medical professions, we must pay attention to system factors that lead to what we call the “occupational health crisis in medicine.” We recently surveyed 425 practicing physicians and health care leaders and executives, seeking their opinions on the importance of eight approaches to transforming health care. We presented the results this fall at the International Conference on Physician Health.

The article is here.