In this episode I talk with Dr. Eric Levi, an ENT surgeon who created a viral article recently relating to physician burnout and lack of job satisfaction called the Dark side of doctoring. Eric wrote this article based on his experience as a specialist nearly completing the long process of training in Australia, but I think his experiences are comparable with listeners in the US and other western nations.
He has a series of these articles that I encourage to you read on his website.
While this particular episode is not necessarily a financial discussion, physician burnout if it leads to leaving the profession obviously will have major financial consequences.
Many physician colleagues are talking about these issues today and I think what Eric wrote about and what we speak about on this episode will sound familiar but he is hopeful that the system is now ready for change.
There have been a number of physician suicides that led him to write these articles. I want to encourage those of you who are listening to this show to speak with your colleagues and maintain the social relationships that help us deal with our stressors. I think Eric makes a point in our discussion about the demise of the informal support groups that used to be more common in the past, such as going out for coffee or drinks. Let’s make it a point to engage our colleagues in these relaxed social activities.
One other point that he makes that should hit home is if you can find 20% of your work to be meaningful, you will have greater job satisfaction even if the other 80% is monotonous. By continuing to learn new skills in your field, teaching students or residents, or branching into leadership positions, you can improve satisfaction.
Finally I know many physicians and administrators don’t have the best relationships, but remember at the end of the day, both groups work for the patient. Lets remember that.
You can read Eric’s articles at EricLevi.com and you can follow him on twitter @drericlevi
The article The Dark side of doctoring is linked here.
More episodes of this podcast are available at www.doctormoneymatters.com
Thanks for listening and please continue to share with your colleagues.
David GraysonAugust 15, 2017 at 7:45 pm
Great podcast thanks. Highlighting 2 important themes to me.
1. Loss of sense of control from docs’ perspective is very threatening
2. Surgeons are not trained to think about managing health of populations and escalating costs.
Dr. Money MattersSeptember 14, 2017 at 8:33 pm
Thanks for the feedback. I think surgeons have enough to worry about rather than adding more to their requirements. I’m not sure of the answer to the problem though.
Margaret Curtis MDMay 31, 2018 at 2:52 pm
could you put a link to the article Dr Levi mentioned, that showed that if 20% of your work is meaningful you will overall be happy with your work? thanks!
Dr. Money MattersJune 1, 2018 at 5:12 am
I will try to find out from Dr. Levi. Thanks for listening.
Dr. Money MattersJune 1, 2018 at 5:22 am
From Dr. Levi (Shanafelt TD, West CP, Sloan JA, et al. Career fit and burnout among academic faculty. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(10): 990-995).
He also referenced it in his talk. https://ericlevi.com/2018/05/13/broken-doctors-broken-systems/amp/