A Report on Physician Well Being, and its Effect on Medical Practice
The majority (almost 87%) are moderately to severely stressed, according to a survey of practicing physicians nationwide. In combination with the annual Physician Retention Survey, the Physician Stress and Burnout Survey published by Cejka Search and Physician Wellness Services offers important insights about how stress and burnout are affecting the physician’s practice of medicine today.
Physician stress and burnout can drive turnover, which is highly disruptive and expensive for a medical practice. Turnover results in additional stress for the remaining staff, the loss of direct and downstream revenue and cost of starting a new practice.
Market trends and external factors, such as the physician shortage, the economy, health care reform, government regulation and reimbursement, are outside your control. However, medical groups and other health care organizations can take action to “bend” these trends to your advantage and offer physicians a balanced, productive work environment.
TREND: Nearly one-third of respondents indicated that better work hours/less on-call time and better work/life balance would help to reduce their stress.
BEND: Physicians value flexibility and greater control over their schedules. In fact, since 2005, the part-time physician workforce has grown by 62%. By offering flexible scheduling, job sharing and part-time schedules, you can keep valued physicians on your team throughout their career life-cycles.
TREND: Medical groups are developing hospitalist programs (76%) and actively hiring nurse practitioners and physician assistants (65%).
BEND: Providing a better work/life balance for physicians means creating care teams that can work together to provide accessible, effective care. Implementing a recruitment strategy for hospitalists and advance practice providers will be critical to remaining competitive in today’s marketplace.
TREND: A physician’s desire to leave their practice or medicine entirely represent four of the top five most-frequently mentioned impacts of stress and/or burnout.
BEND: It is vital to recognize stress and burnout — and invest in recruitment and retention:
- Recruit proactively to reduce the vacancy period and associated loss of downstream revenue.
- Pre-qualify candidates thoroughly to reduce the hard and soft costs of interviewing.
- Employ best practices to ensure a strong fit for the physician and his or her family in your practice and community.
- Provide a mentor — especially in the critical first three years in your practice.
For more information, or to order a copy of the Physician Stress and Burnout Survey, please complete the form on this page, or call: (800) 296-2698.