#HCLDR Chat – May 7 2013 – Physician Burnout

Dr. Kathy NiederPhysician burnout is reported at an all time high. In August 2012, a study printed in JAMA:Internal Medicine cited a 10% higher rate of burnout than the general population, with those of us in primary care being among the highest at risk.[1] Medscape produced a similar study in March of this year with nearly 40% of surveyed physicians reporting symptoms of burnout.[2] These studies are unsurprising to patients and doctors, both experiencing the negative effects of providers who are irritable, inflexible and exhausted.

This past Wednesday KevinMd published a blog post on how Social Media recharged me and my ability to practice medicine. My Twitter feed lit up all day with comments as the post link was tweeted. It was startling to have hit a nerve so effectively. Lisa Fields and I reflected on why people identified with that post. Was it mainly physicians who connected with it? Or people happy to read about a doctor who loves this new medium for engagement? My theory is that it touched on why most individuals enjoy social media: meeting interesting people all over the globe who share their passions as well as finding new ideas and learning new ways to cultivate and improve their lives.

Whatever the case, Social Media has created an immediacy, a mindfulness in my everyday life that I had lost. My blog was about how that has affected my medical practice but it’s true for other areas of my life as well: drawing with Danny Gregory, learning Spanish with @Andrew_the_Odd, and improving my organizational skills on YouTube with AsianEfficiency.

As a follower of #HCLDR, I join the Tuesday evening tweet chat as often as possible, so what an honor to have my blog post featured and asked to be a guest! Even better, I was asked to formulate questions for the #HCLDR community:

  • T1: Does Social Media help you to recharge, and if so, how?
  • T2:  Do you think Social Media provides insights into the future of medicine?
  • T3: What one best thing have you learned from participating in Social Media, especially in regard to healthcare?

Post from Dr. Kathy Nieder (BHE).

Please join our special guest moderator Dr. Kathy Nieder on Tuesday May 7th at 8:30pm Eastern for the weekly #HCLDR tweetchat.

[1] Burnout and Satisfaction With Work-Life Balance Among US Physicians Relative to the General US Population. Shanafelt MD, Tait D. et al. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(18):1377-1385. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1351351

[2] Physician Lifestyles — Linking to Burnout: A Medscape Survey Carol Peckham March 28, 2013 http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/lifestyle/2013/public#2

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