The Spoon Full of Sugar a Provider Needs to Succeed and Lead
Hello everyone! I wanted all Medical Practice Success blog readers to reflect on an article I read recently by the AMA. The article, “What Ails the Medical Profession--and Ways to Heal It,” written by AMA President Steven J. Stack, MD, is a pitch for physicians to enroll in “online modules” as a “medicinal cure for physician burnout.” http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/ama-wire/post/ails-medical-profession-ways-heal Although the author and AMA president receives a lot of heat for his recommendation of online modules to treat the problem, his analysis of the problem is what I would like to point out. He quotes a study by the AMA and the RAND Corporation. The study found that the major drivers of professional dissatisfaction among physicians were environmentally driven barriers to providing high-quality care, such as: 1) Burdensome governmental regulations, 2) Insurers that refuse to cover medically necessary services, and 3) Unsupportive practice leadership. While none of us can easily change the first two problems, government regulations and insurance policy, we can all work to improve the third, leadership. It is leadership from physicians and providers that will save and transform medicine from the illnesses that plague the practice of medicine. Our response as physicians and providers to a struggling healthcare system needs to be our leadership. We went to medical school to learn the pathophysiology of the human body. We then went to residency training, an apprenticeship in medical skills, to learn to apply the years of knowledge into prescriptive action. But, the medical education apparatus – The Liaison Committee of Medical Education, American Board of Medical Specialties, and the American Medical Association – while emphasizing the need for “change,” forgot to teach the most important part, leadership skill. One will not gain this from a “module” online. Leadership, the ability to influence, will be vital to our ability to create the right change medicine needs for the future. Going to conferences such as the Medical Practice Success Summit is a start to developing the skill. I charge my friends who are physicians and providers in the medical community to forge the knowledge and skill necessary to create their sword of leadership and shield of excellence to combat the tyranny of government regulation, insurance policy, and the poor or absent leadership skills of the CEO/MBA who is running your hospital system. (If you are the hospital CEO who wants and needs to turn his system around, this is also a great place to start.) I am witnessing too many physicians retire early or sell their practices to the big hospital systems. Over the last six months or so, I have met with several of my colleagues who are experiencing turmoil in their practices with ACA and hospital mergers.
Everyone reading this article has that spark in them waiting to light the torch to lead the way in their personal lives and professional career. Please consider joining Dr. Tim Reynolds and the Healthcare Express Team as they lead the revolution to prescribe the right medicine, “a spoon full of sugar” for your personal life and medical practice. By attending the conference, you will gain great insight into yourself, your team, and your career. Douglas Mehaffie, MD The Medical Practice About the Author: Douglas Mehaffie, MD is the owner of The Medical Practice in Gretna, Louisiana. Dr. Mehaffie is a member of the Medical Practice Success Board, and he and his team have been regular attendees at the Medical Practice Success Summits.