Physician Practice Roundup—10 doctors charged in pill mill indictment; More than a third of doctors experience burnout

A coctor writing a prescription
Ten doctors associated with HOPE Clinic in West Virginia were included in a 69-count indictment unsealed this week and face charges for running a pill mill. (RX CREDIT: Getty/18percentgrey)

10 doctors charged in pill mill indictment

Ten doctors were charged with overprescribing pain pills from clinics in West Virginia and Virginia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the southern district of West Virginia announced Tuesday.

The doctors were part of a 69-count indictment, most of which charged HOPE Clinic owners, managers and physicians with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and other controlled substances. One of the doctors was also charged with two counts of distribution of controlled substances causing death. A total of 12 people were indicted in the operation of what prosecutors described as a pill mill. (Department of Justice)

More than a third of doctors experience burnout

A study of 1,145 physicians working in the Cleveland Clinic Health System found that more than a third of them met the criteria for overall burnout.

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Those doctors who experienced emotional exhaustion had an increased likelihood of leaving medical practice. Those who experienced depersonalization received more ombudsman complaints. (JAMA Internal Medicine study)

Female surgeons, nurses, residents often face harassment in healthcare industry but may soon fight back

The #MeToo movement, which began as a protest against the mistreatment of women by powerful men in Hollywood and has expanded to include many industries, has yet to truly hit healthcare, but it’s just a matter of time.

The widespread misconduct toward and sexual harassment of women who work in hospitals and other healthcare settings has been such a longtime part of the culture of medicine that many say they either laugh it off or accept it as part of their jobs. But nearly a dozen women in healthcare who were recently interviewed by NBC News believe that the #MeToo movement will lead women who work in the industry to come out in force to push back against the mistreatment. (Fierce Healthcare)

New medical school in California receives preliminary accreditation

The California University of Science and Medicine’s School of Medicine has received preliminary accreditation, allowing the new school to begin accepting students for its first incoming class in August.

The private, not-for-profit school, located in San Bernardino County, is founded by the Prime Healthcare Foundation. (Prime Healthcare announcement)

Shortage of psychiatrists worsening

The school shooting in Florida has again put a spotlight on the need for more mental health services. However, the demand for psychiatrists has only grown, says Philip Miller, vice president of communication at Merritt Hawkins, a physician search company, in an email to Fierce Healthcare.

Psychiatry is now the company’s second most in-demand specialty, trailing only family medicine on the list, he says. It was ninth on the list 10 years ago. “Inpatient psychiatry now is one of our most difficult, if not most difficult, search assignment,” Miller said. The company put together a white paper it titled “The Silent Shortage” that examined trends in psychiatry. (Merritt Hawkins blog post)

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