Transcript

Lee Tetreault:

Welcome to frequently asked questions from the sessions: Re-engineering your clinical practice for patient and physician well-being and the burnout panel discussion. We are joined by Dr. Winner. Before we begin with these questions doctor, would you be able to reiterate a few key pointers from these sessions to our audience?

Dr. Winner:

There's an epidemic of burnout among health care professionals and no matter where we are on the scale from burnout on the one extreme to getting by to thriving at the other extreme, we could all use some hints to improve our well-being and that's what we're gonna go over on these sessions.

Lee Tetreault:

One of the questions is should we fix the broken healthcare system instead of teaching doctors to deal with it?

Dr. Winner:

Of course, we need to make changes in our healthcare system. However, it's not going to be fixed tomorrow. So in the meantime, we need to have other strategies to help us reduce stress and thrive in our practices. We can work on improving the efficiency of our practices so we can get home earlier each day, and have more balance in our lives, and even in a perfect healthcare system medicine would have some inherent stresses. So there are other strategies we can employ to reduce common frustrations and connect more with our patients.

Lee Tetreault:

What are a couple of hints to make documentation more efficient?

Dr. Winner:

Number one, remember that sentences are for novels and prisons, not for medical documentation. Make the HPI like understandable notes, so you can avoid the redundant task of taking notes and dictating after the visit. And number two, use lots of templates, I have some free templates you can use at the physician resource part of my website stressremedy.com so just go to stressremedy.com, go to resources and then physician resources, and then you'll have probably about 100 templates that you can feel free to copy and paste.

Lee Tetreault:

How do we deal with our frustrations like rude patients, non-compliant patients and computer work?

Dr. Winner:

With rude patients remember that they are almost always suffering. It's usually not about you. So keep that in mind and you'll be less frustrated, with non-compliant patients remember that you're not the patient's boss, be a caring consultant and explore their challenges. Why is it hard for them to adhere to a good health plan? And instead of calling it computer work, it is more accurately patient care via the computer, and there's actually some advantages to that work. You can relax with some music and a warm cup of tea, as you work on it and really not something you can do as you go talk with a patient during an office visit.

Lee Tetreault:

When we are distracted by issues at work and home, how can we connect with our patients?

Dr. Winner:

When you feel yourself distracted take some time to just feel what's going on right now. Feel your abdomen expand with a breath right before you walk into the exam room, make it a habit of feeling your hand opening the door and taking that breath, even on the way to the exam room, just notice what your feet feel like on the ground as you walk during that short distance. That will bring you back into the moment of what's going on right now. And if during the visit you find your mind wandering, don't give yourself a hard time just patiently again and again refocus your attention on what your patient is saying.

Lee Tetreault:

How does medical culture contribute to burnout and what can we do about it?

Dr. Winner:

We've been conditioned to think that we need to be invincible, and we don't need any help, and that attitude can have dire consequences. Some of the best, most empathetic, doctors I know are ones who have had difficult emotional times and have gone to get help. If a patient was suffering we would make sure they got help in the same way when things are not going well for your sake, for your family's sake and for your patients' sake reach out and get the help you need perhaps from your physician, a counselor, an employee assistance program, somebody who's better with the electronic medical record from wherever it is, from somewhere, get the help you need and then you'll be better in the long run and your patients and family and everyone will be better in the long run. It's really important you remember to do that.

Lee Tetreault:

This is great information, doctor, thank you so much for your time.

Dr. Winner:

And thank you very much.




Associated Content