When we first started Today’s Hospitalist magazine nearly 14 years ago, there was a lot of hand-wringing about hospitalist burnout. But many hospitalist groups were in such rapid growth mode that longer-term worries—like burnout—fell by the wayside.
Fast forward to 2017, and the topic of burnout is making a very strong comeback. At last month’s Society of Hospital Medicine meeting, for example, burnout—particularly how to prevent it— was a constant subtext in many sessions we attended. Hospitalists were eager to talk about how burnout is affecting their groups and how to reduce it.
In this month’s issue, burnout is likewise a theme running through several articles. Our cover story, for example, looks at how groups are changing the ways in which they bring new physicians onboard. One big concern is helping physicians become comfortable in the culture of the group, in part to avoid feeling overwhelmed and isolated in their new role.
Burnout is the primary focus of a column by David Frenz, MD, in which he argues that hospitalists need to do what they can individually to improve their own resilience. It is so hard for health care systems and large groups to change, he notes, that physicians should take action on their own.
Even our coverage of comanagement innovations touches on the topic of burnout. The article explains that one benefit of providing comanagement services is that they help improve hospitalists’ job satisfaction by giving them leadership roles and more flexible schedules. Those in turn could lead to less burnout.
None of this comes as a surprise, and burnout and career satisfaction are key topics among all clinicians, not just hospitalists. But I’m hoping hospitalists can lead the way in helping physicians build more satisfying, less stressful careers.
Editor & Publisher
Published in the June 2017 issue of Today’s Hospitalist