British Doctors Also Suffer

My latest post on A Country Doctor Writes is about a simple, yet radical fix to the crazymaking situation most American primary care physicians find themselves in:

“A better day for medical providers:

1) Encounter Productivity Achieved

2) Charts done on time

3) Inboxes Cleared.

Those are the three basic tasks of a medical provider, yet most medical organizations only schedule providers for one of them, the patient visits, and somehow expect that by pure magic, superhuman willpower or personal sacrifice, the other two things will get done, and continually act surprised when that doesn’t happen.”

The BMJ writes on the same theme, and there is even a British conference on “The Wounded Healer”:

“Rates of mental illness, emotional exhaustion, and anxiety are increasing among health professionals.23 The causes are generally the same across the world and include a lack of time with patients, loss of continuity, erosion of amenities such as on-call rooms and doctors’ messes, shift systems that undermine traditional peer and senior support, unrealistic public expectations of medicine, the industrialisation of healthcare turning it into a production line, a growing burden of administrative tasks, and being expected to deliver more with fewer resources.”

“Doctors increasingly work within a culture of litigation and blame, carrying the full burden of accountability despite a loss of authority and autonomy.”

“The BMJ champions the wellbeing of doctors. To coincide with the tenth annual conference of the Practitioner Health Programme, the wounded healer, on 4 and 5 October, we have curated an online collection of articles published in the past few years (www.bmj.com/wellbeing).”

What’s this world coming to, when the people who are supposed to be healing the sick are themselves sick from the way their work is structured, organized and mandated?

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