Burnout is rampant among healthcare workers. In fact, a 2020 study published in EClinicalMedicine found that 49% of physicians experience burnout. Recognizing this worsening problem, NexGen Surgical is committed to doing our part to resolve it. Finding solutions to medical burnout is among our topmost priorities and we strive to supporting our physicians in ways that alleviate stress and anxiety. Since surgeons often set the tone for their surrounding surgical environments, we find tremendous value in fostering a culture of engagement that significantly reduces medical burnout.
The Importance of Recognizing Medical Burnout Early
Practicing medicine has evolved into so much more than simply providing patient care. Increasing financial pressures, as well as the rapidly accelerating rate of technological change in medicine, have taken their tolls on surgeons of all specialties. Burnout is a syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion and a loss of enthusiasm for work. It may also involve feelings of cynicism, depersonalization and a reduced sense of accomplishment. Medical burnout can manifest in countless ways but most commonly looks like:
- Loss of motivation
- Withdrawal from responsibilities
- Detachment from surrounding colleagues
- Missing shifts entirely, arriving late to work or leaving early
Physically, burnout can be detrimental to optimal health. It can cause:
- Tiredness that does not go away after resting or sleeping
- Lowered immunity
- Frequent headaches and muscle aches
- Reduced appetite
- Feelings of helplessness
Recognizing these symptoms as early as possible is important. As burnout progresses, symptoms worsen. Early signs of burnout may be as simple as having a short temper, becoming easily impatient or arguing over seemingly meaningless issues. The faster these symptoms are recognized, the faster solutions can be implemented.
Our Approach to Solving Surgeon Burnout
NexGen Surgical is deeply committed to preventing and reversing surgeon burnout. We have found that including surgeons early on in value-based care design plans greatly improves overall buy-in and implementation. Change is always hard but including surgeons in these important decisions makes it easier. We also ensure surgeon and administrative leadership teams efficiently address point-of-care concerns by promoting open and timely communications. Preventing issues like these from festering is critical, so routine discussions on these issues are highly productive. Ultimately, NexGen supports a culture of engagement by fostering effective interpersonal communication, professional camaraderie, decision-making inclusivity and operational efficiency.
The Importance of Work/Life Balance on Medical Burnout
Overloaded surgery schedules and little to no time off can certainly drive physicians to experience burnout. NexGen surgeons only work two weeks per month and enjoy taking no call during their time off, making a healthy work/life balance more accessible than ever. No relocation is required for our positions, meaning our surgeons can live wherever they desire. To take additional stress off of surgeons, NexGen handles all administrative duties so physicians can simply focus on delivering outstanding patient care. The NexGen model, on a foundational level, promotes a relaxed lifestyle that is almost unheard-of for surgeons. Tailoring positions around a physician’s unique schedule and lifestyle goals is our specialty. We keep the lifestyle goals of our surgeons top-of-mind as we plan surgical schedules to ensure a well-deserved healthy work/life balance.
Surgeon Influence on Surgical Staff
Surgery is typically a hospital’s most valuable revenue generator, so it is critical that it is running as safely and efficiently as possible. If your surgical staff is distracted by symptoms of burnout, problems will likely ensue. Positioning well-rested, enthusiastic surgeons with excellent interpersonal skills in your operating rooms will foster a collegial spirit among surgical staff. Supporting engaging, collaborative and healthy work environments is important to us at NexGen and we ensure our surgeons possess the leadership qualities necessary to promote positive work environments.
If your surgical department is experiencing burnout, we can help. Call us today at 844.592.0802 to learn more about our services.