New Collaborative Launched to Combat Physician Burnout

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The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is launching an action collaborative to promote clinician well-being and combat physician burnout.

More than 20 professional and educational organizations have committed to the NAM-led initiative. The collaborative plans to identify priorities and efforts to support evidence-based solutions and multidisciplinary approaches that will prevent and reverse trends in clinician stress and burnout.

“It’s disturbing that so many clinicians are stressed out and overwhelmed, but even more so when we consider the impact on patients and society,” said National Academy of Medicine President Victor J. Dzau, chair of the initiative. “Addressing this problem will require individual, organizational, and systems-level reform. The NAM is committed to leading this collaborative effort in finding workable solutions that will ultimately benefit us all.”

According to NAM, about 400 physicians commit suicide each year, and physicians have twice the risk of burnout compared with other physicians.

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  1. A generation ago, most physicians were in private practice. They ran a small business and called the shots, for good or bad. Now the majority of physicians are employees of large medical centers that purchased their practice. Others call the shots. They take orders. Physicians are not familiar with or comfortable with taking orders. Unfortunately, they have no choice. Low morale and burnout is going to be the norm, as they come to terms with their new realities as employees reporting to a large corporation.

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