Nav: Home

Mayo Clinic: Reversing physician burnout, using nine strategies to promote well-being

November 18, 2016

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Researchers at Mayo Clinic have been documenting the rise and costs of physician burnout for more than a decade. Now, they are proposing nine strategies that health care organizations can use to reverse the trend and limit the risk to patients and their medical staff. Tait Shanafelt, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic's Program on Physician Well-being, and John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO, Mayo Clinic, offer the nine-point plan in the current issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

"Research has shown that more than half of U.S. physicians are experiencing symptoms of burnout, and the rate is increasing," says Dr. Shanafelt, first author of the article. "Unfortunately, many organizations see burnout as a personal problem to be addressed by the individual physician. It is clear, however, that burnout is a system issue, and addressing it is the shared responsibility of both the individuals and health care organizations."

"The reasons we need to reverse this trend in physician burnout are compelling," says Dr. Noseworthy. "Professional exhaustion and disillusionment can adversely impact clinical performance, and result in medical errors and decreased quality of care. This situation hurts patients and providers, and we need to fix it."

The organizational impact of physician burnout can include lower productivity, staff turnover, decreased quality of care and malpractice suits. For the individual physician, burnout can lead to broken relationships, alcoholism and suicide.

The nine strategies suggest organizations should begin to resolve burnout by:
  1. Acknowledging and assessing the problem
  2. Recognizing the behaviors of leaders that can increase or decrease burnout
  3. Using a systems approach to develop targeted interventions to improve efficiency and reduce clerical work
  4. Cultivating community at work
  5. Using rewards and incentives strategically
  6. Assessing whether the organizations actions are aligned with the stated values and mission
  7. Implementing organizational practices and policies that promote flexibility and work-life balance
  8. Providing resources to help individuals promote self-care
  9. Supporting organizational science (Study the factors in your own institution that contribute to the problem, and invest in solutions.)


The article details how these strategies have been applied at Mayo Clinic and their effect on physician burnout. The authors conclude that "deliberate, sustained and comprehensive efforts by the organization to reduce burnout and promote engagement can make a difference".

The article ends with a clear challenge that there is much work to be done to address the problem of physician burnout nationally.
-end-
The work was funded by the Mayo Clinic Program on Physician Well-Being.

About Mayo Clinic Proceedings

Mayo Clinic Proceedings is a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal that publishes original articles and reviews dealing with clinical and laboratory medicine, clinical research, basic science research and clinical epidemiology. Proceedings is sponsored by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research as part of its commitment to physician education. It publishes submissions from authors worldwide. The journal has been published for more than 80 years and has a circulation of 130,000. Articles are available at mayoclinicproceedings.org.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

Mayo Clinic

Related Mayo Clinic Articles:

Mayo Clinic researchers demonstrate value of second opinions
Many patients come to Mayo Clinic for a second opinion or diagnosis confirmation before treatment for a complex condition.
Mayo Clinic researchers clarify chemo resistance, and perhaps a new therapy
Mayo Clinic scientists have identified a specific protein implicated in drug resistance, as well as a possible therapeutic tool.
Mayo Clinic researchers identify therapy
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that an experimental drug, LCL161, stimulates the immune system, leading to tumor shrinkage in patients affected by multiple myeloma.
Mayo Clinic researchers uncover new agents
Mayo Clinic researchers have uncovered three new agents to add to the emerging repertoire of drugs that aim to delay the onset of aging by targeting senescent cells -- cells that contribute to frailty and other age-related conditions.
Mayo Clinic: Reversing physician burnout, using nine strategies to promote well-being
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have been documenting the rise and costs of physician burnout for more than a decade.
Mayo Clinic and Massachusetts Institute of Technology receive grant
Mayo Clinic and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been awarded a five-year, $9.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to support a Physical Sciences-Oncology Center (PS-OC).
Mayo Clinic and ASU to form collaborative research teams
Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University's research leadership announce the launch of a new grant program that will team up research scientists and clinicians from both institutions to develop transformative solutions for patients.
Mayo Clinic studying genomics of antiplatelet heart medication
TAILOR-PCI, which began in 2013 with study teams at 15 hospitals in the US, Canada and South Korea and plans to enroll 5,270 patients, just received an additional $7 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, to complete the study.
Mayo Clinic introduces precision medicine in psychiatry
Mayo Clinic is highlighting the potential merits of using precision medicine in prescribing antidepressants.
Mayo clinic first to implant device to solve fecal incontinence
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A clinical team on Mayo Clinic's Florida campus is the first to offer four patients with long-term fecal incontinence a new and potentially long-lasting treatment -- a small band of interlinked magnetic titanium beads on a titanium string that successfully mimics the function of the anal sphincter.

Related Mayo Clinic Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Don't Fear Math
Why do many of us hate, even fear math? Why are we convinced we're bad at it? This hour, TED speakers explore the myths we tell ourselves and how changing our approach can unlock the beauty of math. Guests include budgeting specialist Phylecia Jones, mathematician and educator Dan Finkel, math teacher Eddie Woo, educator Masha Gershman, and radio personality and eternal math nerd Adam Spencer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#517 Life in Plastic, Not Fantastic
Our modern lives run on plastic. It's in the computers and phones we use. It's in our clothing, it wraps our food. It surrounds us every day, and when we throw it out, it's devastating for the environment. This week we air a live show we recorded at the 2019 Advancement of Science meeting in Washington, D.C., where Bethany Brookshire sat down with three plastics researchers - Christina Simkanin, Chelsea Rochman, and Jennifer Provencher - and a live audience to discuss plastics in our oceans. Where they are, where they are going, and what they carry with them. Related links:...