An Epidemic of Disillusioned Doctors?

Has the Great Resignation come to healthcare? Dr Danielle Ofri wrote an interesting piece titled “An Epidemic of Disillusioned Doctors?” In it, she describes how most doctors are ready to leave clinical medicine.

Dr Ofri is an attending physician at Bellevue Hospital, New York City and Clinical Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine. She is also the author of several books including What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine.

To quote Dr Ofri, “Patients have more complex medical conditions, practices are much busier, insurance companies require more paperwork, administrative mandates multiply like rabbits, electronic medical records are more Byzantine, support systems are fewer—and the 15-minute visit hasn’t gotten any longer.”

Too much paperwork and regulations, the burden of defensive medicine are among the strongest contributors to doctors feeling negative about the profession, notes Dr. Ofri

 According to Dr. Ofri,

●    American doctors apparently spend 22% of their time on nonclinical paperwork. This is equivalent to 165,000 doctors idling with busy work instead of seeing patients.

●    Burned-out doctors are prone to making mistakes.

●    One American doctor takes his or her own life every day.

●    Disillusioned doctors find it harder to muster empathy for patients and have often worse clinical outcomes.

The good news according to Dr Ofri is,

●    Female doctors are more optimistic about medicine than their male counterparts.

●    Doctors under 40 years of age were more satisfied than older physicians suggesting that younger people in the profession are more used to such demands.

●    Salaried doctors were happier than doctors in private practice.

●    Primary care doctors had higher morale than specialists.

Dr Ofri is of the opinion that the current epidemic of disillusioned doctors will change “as new waves of doctors remake the face of medicine.” This new wave of doctors appears to be female, salaried, and primary-care doctors. In America, primary care fields such as internal medicine, OB-GYN, pediatrics, and family medicine are already dominated by women.

While there is some overlap between the situation in America and Malaysia in Dr Ofri’s article such as the frustration of doctors within the hospital system which causes many to leave the profession, I wonder if the new face of medicine in Malaysia will be the same as in the US. That there will be more female than male-doctors, with younger doctors used to the work demands compared to the older generation, and happier than those in private practice. I think not.

We believe the contract system has brought about all kinds of uncertainty and disillusionment to doctors. While some problems faced by healthcare professionals are universal, practices and policies differ between countries and that could be a major part of the problem as well

Source here

Check out MediQ Hub, a service that helps manage all your clinic’s boring non-clinical admin needs.

Get your premium membership to get full free access to our Career Development Mentorship Programme and unlimited CV reviews from our team.

To find out more about non-clinical jobs for doctors in Malaysia check out our job vacancy and find inspiration from medical doctors who’ve made a career change in our case studies.

If you’re thinking of a career transition, do download Dr Selina’s Switching Careers for Doctors eBook here to get you started on your journey.

Check out other articles: