4 ways to reduce physician stress and burnout

Faced with jobs that can lead to burnout, physicians need to take action to reduce their stress levels, according to a Diagnostic Imaging report.

Physicians need to make conscious decisions to change, Sue Jacques, a medical and corporate professionalism consultant based in Calgary, Alberta, told the publication. She recommends four decisions--what she calls the "four Ds"--to increase physician satisfaction and help prevent burnout:

  • Delegate responsibilities to others, including staff and colleagues. This can be tough for independent physicians who like to call the shots. Have a nurse practitioner or physician assistant take patient histories, conduct an initial exam, and handle follow-up, Jacques says
  • Diversify your practice. Periodically take a look at your business and consider ways you can innovate. For instance, set up a flu clinic and team in advance of busy flu season.
  • Decline obligations that mean you overcommit your time. Learn to say no to requests such as committee assignments or even patient demands when warranted.
  • Decompress by setting time for yourself. Schedule time to get away from your practice, Jacques says, and do something you enjoy whether it is meditation, running, or family outings.

If those kind of changes aren't enough to make you happier, consider a bigger shift such as joining a group practice or physician organization or convert to a concierge or direct-pay practice, according to the article.

To learn more:
- read the article