professional burnout

PROFESSIONAL BURNOUT?

Physician Burnout

—  I got it bad, you don’t know how bad I got it.  You got it easy, you don’t know when you got it good.   It’s getting harder, just keeping life and soul together.  I’m sick of fighting, even though I know I should.
—- The cold is biting, through each and every nerve and fibre — my broken spirit is frozen to the core.  You must be joking, you don’t know a thing about it.  You’ve got no problem, I’d stay right there if I were you.
—- I got it harder; you couldn’t dream how hard I got it… 
Stay out of my shoes, if you know what’s good for you. The heat is stifling; burning me up from the inside.  The sweat is coming through each and every pore.   Don’t want to be here no more.  Don’t wanna be here no more…..
(chorus)
Wouldn’t it be good to be in your shoes, even if it was for just one day.
Wouldn’t it be good if we could wish ourselves away.
Wouldn’t it be good to be on your side, the grass is always greener over there.
Wouldn’t it be good if we could live without a care.

Wouldn’t it be Good? by Nik Kershaw from his 1984 album, Human Racing

“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”  The Apostle Paul speaking in Hebrews 13:5

I graduated from Kansas State in 1988, and from Logan College of Chiropractic 25 years ago last week.  Among the numerous trends I’ve noticed from being in practice this long is professional burnout.  Allow me give you an example from my dad — a school principal for over 35 years in three different districts (he retired once, and then went to another district when they called him up looking an old “war horse” to clean up a mess). 

He told me that when he started work back in the very early 1970’s; when he saw his teachers in the summertime, they would excitedly express to him that they could hardly wait to get back into the classroom and get started again with their students.  They loved doing what they were trained to do, and knew that they were truly making a difference in the lives and futures of children.  By the time he finally hung it up for good, he said that it was common for teachers to come to him saying they had x number of years to go until retirement and couldn’t do another.  What’s changed?  For starters……

Teachers are no longer allowed to discipline students.  Parents do less and less to get their children ready for school (i.e. knowing basic phonics skills, writing, and numbers by the time they start kindergarten). Teachers are buried under mountains of worthless, idiotic, and time-consuming paperwork.  Thanks to TV, computers, cell phones, YouTube, etc, children have shorter and shorter attention spans.  We’ve dumbed down our educational system with government programs like “No Child Left Behind” and similar.  School lunches that used to be home-cooked, are now open-a-can-and-heat (not to mention kids are stoked out on SUGAR & JUNK CARBS like never before). More kids that ever are dealing with a wide array of ADDICTIONS.  Lawyers hover like vultures, looking for i’s that weren’t dotted or t’s that weren’t crossed.  The bottom line is that things aren’t like they used to be, and virtually all of it COMPOUNDS THE AMOUNT OF STRESS that everyone working in our public schools systems has to deal with each and every day.  The result of all this?  Teacher burnout.

Lest you think this post is all about teachers, hold on to your horses.  This same phenomenon has affected just about everyone from business owners, to farmers, to engineers, to truck drivers, to dispatchers, to manufacturers, to foresters, to social workers, to soldiers, to heavy equipment operators, to LEO’s, to builders, to doctors — especially doctors. 

People have a tendency to look at other people’s jobs — no matter what it happens to be — and think to themselves, Wow, I would love to have a job like that.  I could make a boatload of money and not really have to work very hard.  Not to mention, I think I could do it better than they do it.” Rarely do people have a clue about what goes on behind the scenes of said job, or what it took to get there.  If you’ve ever looked at a doctor and wanted to swap places with them, this post might make you think twice.  For various reasons, mostly involving mountains of red tape and paperwork, the majority (that, folks, is at least half) of all physicians hate their jobs and would quit tomorrow if they could afford to do so (HERE).

Thanks to THE ACA and years of RIDICULOUS MANDATES from the numerous governmental agencies charged with managing / regulating various aspects of healthcare (CMS, NIH, FDA, CDC, C.H.U.D, and HHS — they brought us HIPPA), doctors are being buried alive in paperwork and over-regulation — LITERALLY. How bad is it?  One year ago this month, a number of physicians and researchers from Mayo Clinic collaborated with Bob Nellis on a paper called Physicians and Burnout: It’s Getting Worse.  Some of their cherry-picked conclusions include…

“Burnout among U.S. physicians is getting worse. The study conducted by Mayo Clinic researchers in partnership with the American Medical Association compared data from 2014 to metrics they collected in 2011 and found that now more than half of U.S. physicians are experiencing professional burnout. Burnout manifests as emotional exhaustion, loss of meaning in work, and feelings of ineffectiveness.  What we found is that more physicians in almost every specialty are feeling this way and that’s not good for them, their families, the medical profession, or patients.  Evidence indicates that burnout leads to poor care, physician turnover and a decline in the overall quality of the health care system.  In 2014, 54 percent of responding physicians had at least one symptom of burnout.”

And here’s the kicker.  The newest of these stats is almost three years old.  I promise that things haven’t gotten better in the last thousand days.  Even though they are not working longer hours, doctors are increasingly burned out and DEPRESSED about their professional situation.  These same doctors are continually browbeat to improve their efficiency.  But how in the world are they supposed to be more efficient when they are spending two to three times as many hours on paperwork as they are on patient care (HERE)?  Plainly stated, they can’t. They hate their jobs (at least they hate their jobs under the current situation) because they spend all their time being government statisticians, unable to do what they have been highly trained to do — take care of patients.   The call went out for solutions.

These solutions, of course, were to be “EVIDENCE-BASED,” and were supposed to change both the system itself as well as the environment that physicians work in.  The cavalry arrived to save the day in the form of even more bureaucracy. THIS RIDICULOUS CHART is a prime example, and will shock you with it’s utter complexity.  Most recently, the medical information daily, STAT, came up with a list of eight things to help solve this problem — even though they themselves didn’t seem convinced it could get the job done.  Despite the fact that their ideas aren’t all bad, many are pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking, while others (value-based care for instance — a system where doctors get paid according to how healthy their patients get and stay) rely on unmotivated patients for their income.  In other words, far too many patients care more about their Doritos, Cheetos, and frozen burritos (not to mention their sodas, frappes, concretes, and lattes) than whether or not their physician is getting paid. I think taken as a whole, it proves that we are largely barking up the wrong tree. 

Physicians can’t force patients to be healthy.  Doctor’s offices are choked with people who, for the most part, take little or no responsibility for their health, and have little motivation for doing so. One of the best examples I can think of is our national epidemic of TYPE II DIABETES.  Physicians certainly can’t keep up with it — particularly as they start treating a generation of young people who would rather spend time on Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram, than time OUTDOORS, with THE FAMILY, or at THE GYM.  And this doesn’t even begin factoring into the equation the huge segment of our population living on various form of junk food (USUALLY BY CHOICE).  Furthermore, talk to any physician and they’ll tell you that the DRUGS they’re prescribing for most diseases aren’t working (again, DIABETES is a great example of this — or HERE).   In fact, in quiet moments of truth, many will actually admit that the drugs are actually making the problem worse (HERE).

If you are wanting to get off the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND, it can be done.  But no one can do it for you.  Even though everyone is looking for that magic pill that’s supposed to help them get healthy and stay that way — it doesn’t exist.  Your doctor can’t make you healthy.  The cool thing is, I’ve given you a protocol that will help the biggest majority of you not only lose the excess weight, but CONTROL YOUR INFLAMMATION, get out of pain, and help you solve your chronic health conditions (SEX LIFE INCLUDED) along the way.  You’ll find it near the end of any of the links in this paragraph.

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