A guest post from Drizzle MD
“I remember the first week when I met my numbers at the clinic, and an all-smile clinic manager walked by my desk and celebrated my milestone with a cheerful “look at you, you met your numbers!”. I remember how I felt dead inside, because that was the first week on my job when I felt I failed patients. I just was not able to fully address their issues, was quick to dismiss concerns, to prescribe medications and order tests. And I was exhausted. Therefore no, I was not like a cheerful puppy when I met my numbers.
…The truth remains, that chasing unrealistic numbers is only going to keep hurting physicians and contribute to burnout.
Numbers hurt. A doctor that is rushed will also have frustration that comes from working below one’s best abilities, from learning to care less, from shunning personal growth, and from treating without healing. All ingredients of physician burnout.
Numbers matter. They do, as in every business. However, there should be a sweet spot that can only be found when the system is reverse-engineered based on an non-negotiable end point: let the physician be.
Until then, any other approach to fix physician burnout will be viewed as a willful ignorance of what physicians are meant to be.”