Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The impact of physician stress is underestimated

On Healthcare Finance News, you'll find a short article titled, "Impact of physician stress is underestimated." The article is based on a report from Physician Wellness Services (PWS) and Cejka Search.

PWS’ and Cejka’s survey results are based on 2,069 completed surveys. Among the findings:
  • 87 percent of respondents said they are moderately-to-severely stressed/burned out on an average day.
  • 63 percent said they were more stressed or burned out than they were three years ago; 34.3 percent said they were much more stressed than they were three years ago.
The pace of delivering health care is only getting faster. There are increasing demands to deliver higher value while physician reimbursement declines in many cases. It's no wonder that burnout is becoming ubiquitous and that a growing number of physicians are looking for ways to escape from clinical medicine.

On LinkedIn, you'll find some physicians discussing the issue of burnout and physician help. Go to the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) group on LinkedIn and you'll find a discussion titled, "How to get docs the help they need?"

Some physicians have poor coping mechanisms and they turn to substance abuse, alcohol, gambling, and other destructive behaviors. As a result, physician help programs in each state are kept busy managing and monitoring physicians who have exhibited addictive behaviors.

A recent article in Archives of Surgery titled, "Substance Abuse Among Surgeons: The Perils of Losing Your Credentials" reminds all of us that "Alcohol and drug abuse are a significant issue among physicians in general and surgeons in particular."

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