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How to Avoid Physician Burnout and Reclaim Your Independence

The key to avoiding physician burnout and reclaiming your independence is in removing yourself from overbearing hospital systems and health insurance companies that care only about profit while caring little about you or your patients.

What does physician burnout feel like?

Physician burnout feels like extreme dissatisfaction with your job, coupled with exhaustion and lack of joy from taking care of patients. You may find it difficult to go into work, and then find that you are very unhappy while you are there. There may also be a sense of helplessness as you conform to a system that does not put the doctor patient relationship first, and overburdens you with administrative tasks that add little patient value while taking up a significant portion of your time and resources. You may also find that these negative feelings only increase the longer you work.

What is causing physician burnout?

Physician burnout is being caused by those not directly involved in giving patient care interfering in the work that a physician does. Hospitals have increasingly commoditized physicians, trying to squeeze every drop of productivity out of them. This leads to assembly line medicine, where a physician is forced to see patients in short intervals, or risk being labeled “unproductive” and punished. This fact combined with the needless amount of paperwork that a physician has to do related to insurance billing creates an environment where more time is spent doing paperwork and worrying about billing compliance than taking care of actual patients. Not allowing a physician adequate time to properly take care of their patients causes physician burnout. Those in private practice continue to find it increasingly difficult to maintain their independence as insurance companies cause their overhead to continually rise while cutting reimbursements. The recourse for the small independent private practice physician is to sell to a very large private practice group, or be bought by a local hospital system. Either action leads to loss of independence and an increase in physician burnout.

How do you fix doctor burnout?

The only way to fix doctor burnout is to remove yourself from the hospital/insurance medical system that we are all so familiar with. Without hospital administration or insurance companies telling you what to do, you will have full independence to practice like you’ve always wanted to. There are many ways to do this depending on your specialty, but they are all centered around different streams of non-insurance based income that use your medical license and expertise. The end result is that you and your patients will be significantly happier, and you will question why you didn’t make the change sooner!

About Easy Orthopedics Consulting

Dr. Daniel Paull is an orthopedic surgeon based in Colorado Springs who started a successful cash based mobile orthopedic practice. He frequently advises other physicians and surgeons on how they can free themselves from the system and regain their independence through unique patient-physician relationship focused practices. Consultations for those in the tech industry are also available.


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