A couple of recent studies highlight the difficulties that physicians often face in trying to enjoy their jobs. Now it is hard to feel too sorry for doctors; they are extremely well paid. And my sympathy level has dropped as they have become woke monsters, more interested in nebulous “equity” than in actually taking care of a patient’s health. But the pressure to generate revenue and the inability to attend to patients in a leisurely fashion is hard, I would think.
The first study discusses doctor’s use of electronic health records and their perception of such systems’ impact on their work. About 64% report satisfaction with their EHR and that documentation using the system is easy. However, 85% said documentation was often solely for billing purposes and 58% agreed that use of the EHR took time away from patients. The average physician spent 1.7 hours a day outside of office hours using the EHR for documentation. That is a lot of time. Use of scribes did not change this much. Physicians who did not have an EHR actually spent less time on documentation. One thing that should make us a little leery of the findings is that the research was done by people who want a single-payer system and they are rigid ideologues. (JAMA Article)
The second study deals with overall job satisfaction. The headline is that one in five doctors says they would like to leave the profession. The epidemic has heightened job burnout. Staff shortages are common, meaning work hours become even longer. Regardless of your level of sympathy for clinicians, if they are not happy with their jobs, their actual work performance likely suffers, and that means patients suffer. (JAMA Article)