Tough to focus on patient care, productivity at the same time

A physician friend of mine from a well-known, local healthcare system recently confided in me that he's so tired and burned-out that he's thinking of leaving the practice of medicine.

As a primary-care physician, he feels his role has moved further away from that of a healer and more into that of a "production worker."

Rather than focus his energy on ensuring that his patients are best positioned for optimal healing, he feels pressure to ensure that he's triple-booked every fifteen minutes in an effort to generate the required 30 "relative value units" (RVU's) per day and thus earn his salary.

Another friend of mine, a resident physician shared similar sentiments. Her residency program seems to emphasize the need for speed when it comes to completing patient assessments. Less emphasis is placed on the best ways to position the patient for optimal healing. Instead, it's all about productivity.