Jeff welcomes to the podcast Paul DeChant, MD., keynote speaker, author, and executive coach assisting healthcare leaders create more resilient organizations.
We believe that the primary driver of burnout is the workplace, not the physician. As surgeons, we’re knowledgeable, trained, and dedicated. The problem is that we’re often in a work setting that depersonalizes our care, exhausts our empathy, occupies us with unfulfilling tasks, and basically overwhelms our passion.
In many ways, the opposite of burnout is professional fulfillment, which comes when we are deeply engaged in work that is meaningful to us. This professional fulfillment is difficult to achieve when our workplaces are overwhelming us on a daily basis. Dr. DeChant shared more detail on the drivers of burnout as they correlate with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
If we can address the drivers of burnout on an organizational level, then we can reduce the impact of burnout on individual surgeons.
What thoughts does Paul suggest we do to address burnout on an organizational level?
- Step 1 – Don’t blame yourself or allow others to blame you for getting burned out! Remember – the main driver of burnout is the workplace, not the worker.
- Step 2 – Compare Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and your system’s drivers of burnout.
- Step 3 – If you are a leader, shadow a physician. If you are a physician, ask a leader to shadow you. These interactions might find some common ground and make connections that begin to swap fulfillment for burnout.
Most importantly, practice organizational wellness!
Paul DeChant, MD
Dr. Paul DeChant is an internationally recognized expert on clinician burnout. He speaks from the unique combined experience as a family physician, medical group CEO, and consultant to C-level leaders on engaging physicians to reduce burnout while building the bottom line.
In addition to 25 years of practicing family medicine, he has served as:
- President and Medical Director for High Country Health Care (a group he developed in the Colorado Rocky Mountains),
- Department director and compensation committee chair for Geisinger Health,
- Medical director, divisional president, and board member for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation,
- CEO for the Sutter Gould Medical Foundation,
- Executive advisor to Simpler Healthcare, and
- Deputy Chief Health Officer for IBM Watson Health.
While he was CEO, the Sutter Gould Medical Foundation achieved the highest overall rating of 170 medical groups in California two years in a row from Consumer Reports and the California Healthcare Performance Information System, and improved provider satisfaction from p45 to p87 in the AMGA Provider Satisfaction Survey.
He co-authored, “Preventing Physician Burnout: Curing the Chaos and Returning Joy to the Practice of Medicine”, and blogs regularly at www.pauldechantmd.com.
He can be reached at email@example.com.