Tom Jenike, M.D., speaks from experience when he talks about physician burnout. Five years ago the joy of practicing medicine was gone, but he wasn’t ready to quit the profession, he writes in an opinion piece for STAT.
Determined to remain engaged as a doctor, Jenike says he began working with an executive coach to get clarity about his life’s priorities and to recommit to his work as a doctor.
Now, in partnership with that executive coach, he’s created a program at Novant Health, an integrated system of physician practices, hospitals, outpatient centers in North Carolina, to help other physicians achieve better work-life balance, develop their leadership skills, boost their own wellness and find fulfillment in their professional and personal lives, he says.
“I knew I wasn’t alone in feeling burned out. Doctors all over the country are expected to deliver world-class clinical care while trying to keep up with the economic, technological, regulatory, payer and organizational shifts that make being a doctor harder and harder,” writes Jenike, chief human experience officer and senior vice president at Novant Health, calling physician burnout a “silent epidemic.” Physician burnout now effects more than half of doctors, one survey found.
Since the leadership development program was launched in 2013, more than 500 physicians have taken part, he says. Participants, and sometimes their family members, have said the program saved their careers and, in some cases, their marriages.
- read the STAT article