Survey: Physician morale low

These survey results may be a downer, but they're not much of a surprise. American doctors are stressed, tired and discouraged by the state of the healthcare system, according to the results of a new survey from the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE). Low reimbursement, loss of autonomy and respect, bureaucratic hassles and excessive patient loads are leading many physicians to question whether they've chosen the right career, the ACPE said. Almost 60 percent of the 1,205 physicians surveyed said they'd considered leaving the practice of medicine. Three-quarters of doctors responding said fatigue was a problem, and two-thirds were experiencing emotional burnout. Perhaps more worrisome was that about one-third said they were facing marital and family discount and depression. A scary 4 percent even admitted to suicidal thoughts.

So what can we do to boost physician morale? Obviously, the whole healthcare system needs an overhaul, but that's not going to happen overnight. Are there short-term steps hospitals, group practices and insurers can take to make things better? What would you do first, and who should be involved? Write to me and let me know what you think. I'll publish some of your responses in a future newsletter.

For more about the survey:
- see this ACPE release

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