Based on my knowledge of physician wellness talking heads, I know how this thing on Friday will go. We will pose lots of hard questions, many of which I will list below, and they will dodge them. Instead they are going to talk about how their paper, and their yoga program, and their getting together and brainstorming great ideas will fix all the problems. Meanwhile they will fail to meaningfully address anything that detracts from their "hooray for us" message. How do I know this? Because this happens with almost every policy maker who shows up on Reddit.
so what's going to happen? Is there going to be some sort of enforcement of a good-faith efforts to acknowledge the massive problems facing physician burnout remediation? Or will this be an advertisement with information that could be spewed out by a low-quality chatbot? And these are the things are going to fail to acknowledge:
Mandatory wellness sessions that are not protected mean we have to stay at work another hour or more to catch up on the things we were supposed to be doing. You make it worse.
Yoga and dogs are not going to reverse physician burnout. Being proud of yourselves for offering these things does not mean you're doing something meaningful.
Physician burnout will be helped by addressing the main causes of burnout, which include disempowerment, too much paperwork, too much work, not enough administrative support, etc.
PowerPoints about how we should build resilience and admonishments not to kill ourselves are demoralizing and insulting. Telling us we need to try to get sleep and exercise when you're deliberately working us 80 hours or more is just plain mean.
Every single hospital administration led wellness program is created and enacted by people who work about 40 hours a week. Until the administrator shadows a doctor for an entire week straight, their opinion is not worth a tenth of the money spent on fancy banners and pamphlets.
Dissuade us from the notion that physician suicides are just the cost of doing business. Every business makes a cost-benefit analysis, ie the cost of implementing a safety measure versus the cost of paying out for wrongful death often does not balance in the favor of preventing harm. Quite frankly, the cost of replacing and retraining a few dozen physicians year is a lot less than the system-wide changes required to reduce burnout.
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