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    Physician Burnout: Inherent and External Stressors and Rewards

    Burnout. You know it. We know it. Everyone knows it’s a serious problem in health care. We’ve written about the characteristics of burnout, how it can make you feel, and some prevention techniques, but Harvard Business Review offers a unique solution to health care organizations who hope to ease the impact of burnout on their physicians.

    The solution revolves around identifying sources of physician stress and rewards and how to address them in the workplace. Understanding the types of stress and reward doctors experience is the first step. These sources of stress and reward can be separated into two distinct types: those that are inherent to caring for patients and those that are external and most likely come from the work environment.

    Unfortunately, inherent stressors and rewards associated with caring for patients are closely intertwined. There’s no way to eliminate the stress of making decisions relating to a patient’s health, but there are ways to enhance associated rewards. One simple way to inherently reward physicians is to develop a process for sharing positive patient or management feedback.

    External stresses and rewards, on the other hand, are not so intertwined. Many external stressors clinicians face are caused by their work environment and the office culture. Stressors can include inefficient office staff or poor management, while rewards could be positive work relationships, working with the latest medical technology, or being provided the resources needed to succeed. Correcting the stressors whiles reinforcing the rewards is a good way to start helping physicians balance the two to avoid burnout.

    Regrettably, there’s not one quick fix that can prevent physician burnout. However, by understanding the origins of the stressors and rewards, management can effectively act to equalize the imbalance before physicians reach their breaking point.

    Read the source article at Harvard Business Review

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