Recently, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced a new campaign to get at the root of a persistent problem in the medical profession: physician burnout. The Practice Transformation Initiative will pursue “evidence-based solutions that increase joy in medicine,” AMA said in a statement announcing the program.
A recent report from AMA, with the support of the Rand Corporation, the Mayo Clinic, and the Stanford University School of Medicine, noted that 44 percent of doctors surveyed faced some kind of burnout in 2017—a significant number, but down from 54.4 percent in 2014 and 45.5 percent in 2011. Physicians’ dissatisfaction was often linked to challenges in offering a high level of care, including the increasing complexity of maintaining electronic health records—which have added more mundane tasks like data entry—and to limitations on the time they can spend with patients.
“Among other things, the researchers found that physicians who perceived themselves or their practices as providing high-quality care reported better professional satisfaction,” the report stated. “Physicians, especially those in primary care, were frustrated when demands for greater quantity of care limited the time they could spend with each patient, detracting from the quality of care in some cases.”
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