Free Markets, Free People

Job burnout for doctors — will it intensify under ObamaCare?

Apparently job burnout effects about 40% of US doctors a recent survey revealed:

Job burnout strikes doctors more often than it does other employed people in the United States, according to a national survey that included more than 7,000 doctors.

More than four in 10 U.S. physicians said they were emotionally exhausted or felt a high degree of cynicism, or "depersonalization," toward their patients, said researchers whose findings appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"The high rate of burnout has consequences not only for the individual physicians, but also for the patients they are caring for," said Tait Shanafelt of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who led the research.

Now imagine the demand that 10 million newly insured that have been given mandated “free stuff” by ObamaCare will add to the load doctors are carrying (don’t forget, we’re supposed to be 90,000 doctors short by 2020).

Yup, again this really isn’t rocket science, but it also obviously hasn’t at all be thought through by our lawmakers, has it?

And the law of unintended consequences will take it’s due course because of that.


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16 Responses to Job burnout for doctors — will it intensify under ObamaCare?

  • And progressives think Christians are foolish to believe in the loaves and fishes – when their plan for medical coverage for all is pretty much identical, short one special individual.

    • You know, if you dense, knuckle-dragging wingnuts would just get with the program and join the harmonic convergence circle, all this could be solved.  See, you can mandate cars and trucks to get 50% better mileage, and pond scum to power jet airplanes, so we are bound to be able to mandate doctors into the profession.  Oh, and MAKE them happy, too.  Happy, happy, doctors, treating happy, happy patients for free!  See how easy?

      • Oh, wait!  I’m having a vision!  I see it!  I SEE the massive throngs becoming Doctors!  I SEE them, toiling, investing years of their time, and money, to work for the government and have know nothing bureaucrats with minimum medical credentials dictate treatment methods for their patients!  I believe!  I believe!

  • It’s worse than it seems.  I’m in that group of physicians waiting to see what the election says before I check out.  The bottom line is that it’s not worth working 90 hour weeks under the thumb of a police-state bureaucracy that is looking to throw you in jail for the smallest mistake — not to mention civil malpractice suit issues.  The government has decided to try to save money not by going to free markets, but by making physicians the enemy, so it is justified in punishing them and making them work as slaves to the system.  It’s no different than the war against “big pharma,” those horrible people who develop drugs that save your life — without permission.  How dare they.
    But the problem isn’t physicians like me.  The problem is the next generation of physicians.  I remember when I was in college, and my family doc heard that I was premed.  He told me “Well, if there’s anything else you can do and be happy, don’t b a physician.”   Now, the advice is generally just “Don’t be a physician.”  A generation or two ago, many of the best and brightest went to medical school in order to become great physicians.  Those best and brightest are smart enough to read the writing on the wall — medicine is not the place to excel any more. Instead, they will go somewhere else, likely (like Obama, et al.) into politics and law.  Instead, you will get people going into medicine who should be doing something else.  People like to bitch about public employees who are ignorant, supercilious, and just putting in time.  In the world of socialized medicine, they are the ones with MDs.  They are the generation-after-next of our physicians.

    • Hey, you didn’t draw up that medical license…
      But seriously, don’t tell people to go into the law, either.  Become engineers or scientists (real scientists…not those bogus kind in Poli-Sci) if they can do math.
      A lot of them could do well as robotics techs and the like.  Or fireman.  Fisker and Sparky Pinto will provide them business.

      • Sparky Pinto?  you’re showing your age  🙂   If you’d added 4 Firestone 500 tires to the mix…..
        But you mean the Chevy Dolt right?
        The Dolt, the car for the masses, priced at $41k to make no profit.  Government subsidized via tax breaks, and gets 38 miles to a 12 hour charge.  Only occasionally catches fire while sitting unattended in the garage.

      • I’m an engineer,but I have no recommendation for a career.  With idiots in the federal government awarding bridge building projects to the Chinese, you can’t even be sure that your location and the massiveness of the projects will force them to use local talent.
        For the last few years, working for the federal government has been the place to go but we all know that the Tresury can’t just conspire with the Fed to print money forever.

    • IBD (or similar) about a year back had an article about the best careers for the next decade (or some such).  Saw that high on the list was “medicine”.  Stunned – but after delving into the article a bit,  I learned the careers they were talking about were not in providing care, but rather administering the reams of paperwork currently being unleashed.
      It is abundantly clear no individual physician or group is in full compliance with all the regulations.  Two small examples:
      1.  In order to be compliant, we have to fax everyone we’ve ever faxed a fax asking if their fax machine is in a secure area and accessible only to authorized persons, and they must fax back verification that they are in compliance.
      2.  We are required to have our office hours on the door ‘in print large enough for Medicare patients to read.’  What does that mean?  From the sidewalk, from the street, from across the street, in Spanish, in braille, at night?
      So we’re all in violation – now who decides which offices get investigated / fined or worse?
      Over the years we’ve had to contact third party payors and government agencies to get prior approval / pre-certification for certain services.  After enduring voicemail hell, then being on hold for umpteen minutes, we get to talk to a clerk who can’t even pronounce the words, ticking off a checklist to decide if my patient can be treated or not.
      After nearly 30 years of practice using ICD-9 (diagnosis codes – about 11,000 in number), as of October 1, 2014 we are supposed to use ICD-10 codes (72,000 and counting).  It’s not just new numbers – it’s an entirely different coding system.  Two consultants (coding specialists of course – remember those great careers?) initially were advising their clients they will need at least 3 months of working capital in the bank, or a line of credit equalling this.  They have since revised their estimate to six months.  They explained that not everyone will be ready, and that when we submit our claims on 10/2/14 in ICD-10 format, if the government or third party carrier isn’t using the new format, the claims will be rejected.  How will we know which organizations are ICD-10 compliant?  The short and accurate answer:  we won’t.
      The BC/BS rep just left our office 20 minutes ago.  The best she could offer was she “hoped” they will be ready come 10/1/14.  Hoped?

    • Yeah, the “don’t be a doc” advice has been building for a while. When I was in medical school in 1977-1978, and starting to get disillusioned with the low-concept, high-memorization curriculum, a member of the faculty advised me to get out and find a career more high-concept and idea driven.

      He asked me why I got into medicine, and I told him it was because I didn’t want to work for anybody – to run my own show. He disabused me of that notion in a hurry. He said “If that’s the case, you don’t want to stay in it. I think medicine will be completely socialized by the 1990s.”

      He was off a bit on timing, but seems correct on the direction. I did leave medical school after a single year, and I’ve never regretted it for a moment.

      • No great loss, because you are one of those greedy people-haters that would just jerk out tonsils willy-nilly, and hack off people’s limbs for your country club fees.
        We know you.  After the Revolution, you’ll be given the opportunity to go to a People’s medical school, where you will be taught your duty and given the chance to serve the greater good.

  • If the newly insured are healthy young people, it might not be so bad.

  • If we socialize medicine, then we should socialize law. Nationalize all lawyers and pay them the median salary. Assign them at random to cases nationwide. Imagine, Goldman Sachs and some poor single mother would have an equal shot at getting the best lawyer for their cases! And the cost savings will be enormous, so we can afford to give everyone the legal services they need.

    This is my new line I am using against a self-employed lawyer friend who wants to socialize medicine to cut out the greedy insurance companies and get costs down…so far he has not replied to me about this Modest Proposal.

  • “…the best lawyer for their cases!” You would soon find that there are no “best lawyers” anymore. Incentives anyone? I have often used the same argument with people using their profession as the target.