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Think about it: when was the last time you sat down to dinner with your family or sat in the bleachers for your children’s ball games? Are you a “pajamas physician,” holed up in your home office until late at night, missing family time because you’re trying to finish up all the administrative demands you couldn’t attend to because you had a constant stream of patients filing through your office? Are you afraid you’re missing out on your own life? Is this high-stress lifestyle what you expected when you entered medical school?

Doctors aren’t superhuman. It is unrealistic for anyone to expect them to withstand the relentless pressures of our healthcare system.

“What we hear from doctors repeatedly is, ‘I went into healthcare to help people, but I spend my day typing into a computer or on the phone doing prior authorizations and I feel like my time is being wasted on all of these things instead of focusing on taking care of my patients,’” says Clif Knight, MD, FAAFP, a board member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, a group fighting burnout in healthcare. “And over time doctors lose that connection of why they went into medicine and start wanting to do something else because they feel like they’re just wasting their time.” [1]

The health industry is finally recognizing that doctors cannot continue at this blistering pace without some sort of damage.[2] Medical organizations are hiring wellness directors to ensure that their own staffs aren’t suffering from burnout and/or “moral injury”[3] and medical software companies are developing better, more efficient mobile apps so doctors aren’t chained to their computers all day.

A concierge practice is a powerful option for a less stressful practice with financial peace as physicians move to retirement. It allows physicians autonomy to design a practice that is physically manageable and professionally satisfying and removes the drivers more concerned with costs than patient care.

More importantly, concierge medicine allows you more time to work with your patients, creating a virtuous circle of patient trust and satisfaction for everyone involved, including your family.

[1] Bendix, J. 2019, January 16. The real reason docs burn out. Medical Economics. Retrieved from https://www.medicaleconomics.com/business/real-reason-docs-burn-out.

[2]“Physician burnout has spawned numerous studies that have raised awareness of the issue in recent years, and several Massachusetts health systems have begun working to address it.” McClusky, M. 2019, January 17. Physician burnout now essentially a public health crisis. BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved from https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/01/17/report-raises-alarm-about-physician-burnout/9CGdUc0eEOnobtSUiX5EIK/amp.html.

[3] “Moral injury occurs when doctors feel they are impeded from doing what is best for their patients. Impediments can take a variety of forms, such as an insurer’s unwillingness to pay for a medication or procedure, limits on appointment times set by the doctor’s employer, or the need to score highly on patient satisfaction surveys….[M]oral injury speaks to the sense that they have fallen below what they think standards should be or they’re cutting corners due to productivity requirements in ways that make them feel uncomfortable.” Bendix, J. 2019, January 16. The real reason docs burn out. Medical Economics. Retrieved from https://www.medicaleconomics.com/business/real-reason-docs-burn-out.

 

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