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physician burnout solutions
  • Jo Gardner
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If you were already concerned about physician burnout solutions, this could be a demanding week for you and your staff.  People across the US struggle in the week following the 2 a.m. change to Daylight Savings Time (DST).  In fact, for years the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has demanded DST be abolished.  Their concern is credible enough that last week, the issue was debated in a congressional hearing.  According to Dr. Abid Bhat, medical director for the University Health Sleep Center, we’ll all feel sort of jet lagged.

There is a physical reason this adds to physician burnout.  Changing the clock desynchronizes the body, resulting in physiological changes.  Studies show there is actually a higher incidence of acute myocardial infarction during DST.  Already weary physicians will have to deal with even higher patient incidents for a few weeks. What does this have to do with you?  You might need to add a little TLC to your physician burnout solutions and relief efforts.

In past articles we discussed the cost of finding and training physicians. Those costs run well into six figures and losing your talent restarts the tally.  The average turnover per year in medical practices is between six and ten percent.  If you already have a physician retention strategy in place, congratulations.  Here, we’ll share an updated list of tested physician retention solutions to incorporate into your own plans.

Physician Burnout Solutions Start at the Beginning

Effective recruitment is a critical element of support  to retention of your talented physicians.  Keeping an eye on their stress levels is a good approach to physician burnout solutions, but start sooner. Before recruiting, take an honest, hard look at your expectations and those of the candidate.  Confusion regarding expectations might explain the candidate’s search, or it could explain why you have an open position.  Once you have reviewed them, communicate all expectations in writing.  Besides salary, benefits and growth opportunities, be sure to include workload, relocation requirements and leadership or other intangible expectations.

An In-depth Interview Process

The interview process is your opportunity to start on the right foot with an in-depth, honest conversation.  The interview isn’t the place to sell your brand. Candidates today look online for brand information before the interview begins.  The interview is your best chance to make sure you get the right fit from the start.

If you’re time crushed by the number of candidates, consider working with a third party agency like PX3 Medical Staffing.  PX3 saves weeks of labor by locating and sifting through candidate CV’s to find your organization’s best fit.  Enjoy a short list of highly qualified candidates already  aligned with your facility’s culture.  Meanwhile, candidates get help finding institutions whose vision is more like their own.  Both sides are naturally united more closely, making the new hires more likely to stay longer.  This is the first of several physician burnout solutions.

Know and Offer What Physicians are Searching for Today

Compensation

Money isn’t the only issue, but fair remuneration will take center stage in attracting and retaining talent.  A medical graduate with over $200,000 in student loan debt will want salary that will allow them to reduce the balance sooner than later.

Manageable Workload

Besides an attractive salary, candidates want better life/career balance.  That means you will have to recognize and offer a fair, manageable workload.  Some institutions handle this by cross training staff to ensure coverage during days off.  Another approach integrates more technology to save time that was once consumed by mundane physician tasks.  Providing a workout room for your staff can help them stay well while boosting positive attitudes.

Access to Knowledge Base

A knowledge base saves time, shares experiences and improves patient care.  Making this access available to your new physicians will provide growth opportunities that they crave.

Help Recruits Feel Welcome

With 79 percent of industries concerned about belonging at work, physician retention efforts need to include signs of appreciation.  A good way to start is to make sure your new recruit has all the equipment and information they need.  This includes passwords to the system, parking passes, uniforms and a fully equipped workspace.

Little things matter too, like placing a welcome gift on their desk for them to find on the first day.  Schedule a first day lunch or drinks after work so your new recruit can meet the other physicians on staff.  Make sure your orientation includes all the information about your medical facility that will help your new physician feel at home.  Include things like research opportunities, clinical programs and residency teaching. Do you have a mentorship program at your facility?  Making it easier for the new physician to access coaching, counseling and questions helps provide more physician burnout solutions.

Welcome the Family

When physicians relocate, include a welcome package for the family.  This can include assistance with setting up schools for the children, and providing church information.  It is sort of like a location orientation package for the family.

March 30, 2022 is doctor appreciation day.  Don’t let it pass without an event or token of appreciation to your physicians.  Showing your appreciation is a massive component of physician burnout solutions. One day won’t last all year, so add little appreciation days into your schedule each month and find small ways to remind your team they matter.

Author: Jo Gardner
I have a Bachelor of Science in Business and have five years of writing experience on business,recruiting, mortgages, foreclosure, and personal finances.

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