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The hidden crisis within the health care crisis

KevinMD—September 4, 2017

KevinMD featured a bylined article by Todd J. Albert, MD, surgeon-in-chief at HSS, about the hidden crisis in healthcare: physician burnout.

"More than half of U.S. physicians are now experiencing professional burnout. As a profession, we need to do a better acknowledging this issue exists to remove the stigma and address the problem," said Dr. Albert. 

There are fundamental factors common to any American doctor’s routine, according to Dr. Albert. He explained that doctors work constantly and do not have a set shift. "Once engaged in treating a patient, doctors work round-the-clock to ensure the patient receives quality care — often days straight in the most critical cases…before plunging back into surgery."

Dr. Albert writes that there are manageable steps toward a solution.

He advised that staff should be transparent and feel empowered to speak up if they feel stressed. "At HSS, we have found this type of environment lowers workplace stress and creates a culture of safe, secure identification, where doctors know they can not only ask for help, but that others are looking out for them, too."

Doctors should have access to psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors for proper treatment.

Additionally, Dr. Albert notes the importance of quality. "A rigorous quality program helps ensure that any hospital system has surveillance on outcomes, both good and bad, and can then diagnose individual outcomes to determine any patterns that warrant deeper examination."

Dr. Albert stresses that to ensure a sustainable culture, there must be sector-wide protocols established so every doctor is aware of the problem and knows that they can get help, if needed.

Read the full article at kevinmd.com


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