Physicians: The Culture of Complainers (Part 4)

Dr. Adam Tabriz

Population Health, 21st-century and Physician Burnout

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Evidence-based medicine utilizes randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses as powerful tools and confirmation sources about mediocre results for various patients. They are developed as response versus poorly designed observational treatment research and physician reliance on personal experience with other patients to guide decision-making about a patient at hand. Notwithstanding, these instruments help physicians question the therapeutic regimen customized for every patient at a given point in her/his clinical course. Until not long ago, that problem was not of great concern since technology and science were in their fancy stage. Furthermore, the general public’s expectation was not as developed, given relatively limited access to high-quality information. However, with ever-evolving technological advances, patient expectations parallelly grow, demand for more personalized care intensifies, and population health flunks to provide answers to the individual orders.

Physicians work harder to fill the gaps in patient expectations and experience, but they can only go so far. In other words, clinicians generally agree; data and evidence-based improve patients’ health and survival. Yet, comparative-performance reports generate unhappiness and resentment, clashing with traditional medical culture by rifting between what the reports highlight and which perspectives of medicine doctors value most utmost. Hence, the increasing discrepancy created by that rift is a significant contributor to physician complaints, burnout, and passivity.

It is imperative to realize that personalized healthcare in the 21st-century medical domain is necessary rather than an option or a complementary service. However, that can never be implemented if physicians continue the path of whining rather than self-reform.

Value-Based Care and Physician Dissatisfaction

One of the most hypocritical undertakings of the modern healthcare administrations is implementing a value-based reimbursement system amid maintaining the population health scheme. Because value and quality are relative traits of a service delivered in a personalized environment; otherwise, such a deal can only be an outcome of a fictitious metric system. It focuses on cost control and a set of statistically driven social determinants of health and disease. Value-based reimbursement demands extra effort from physicians adding the further reason for the already burning physician to complain.

Physician Decisions also affect Patient Care Quality

Every physician understands how tough his job is- and the resulting burnout it can cause. Long hours of work, the burden of student loans, administrative pressure, compliance issues, and other factors leave physicians depersonalized, exhausted, and with decreased efficiency. That can feel natural to vent about burnout, but it will keep hurting if they don’t do anything about it. Physicians cannot merely change the external factors accountable for their frustration and burnout, but they can change the practice’s nature. They need to adapt to technology. The attitude of defying technology, kicking the can of policies down the road of politics will not help them in the long run. You have to begin somewhere and slowly. Only then can we expect the external factors to change!

We need to understand that healthcare consists of multiple aspects like quality of care, supervision, information management, patients, providers, expenses, interdisciplinary interaction, and influenced by social perceptions and socioeconomic conditions. Unless we can create a balance, we won’t have harmony within our professional lives and only keep complaining!

We can make things more straightforward, transparent with the right solution. It won’t work like magic, but we can start someplace. We should begin by developing an open and free healthcare market where healthy competition can flourish. Within such a system, every individual should be able to have the opportunity to make an informed judgment based on awareness generated by healthcare services and governments.

Practices like the population-based model tend to overlook the personal needs of the patient. The model is aimed at a population with lesser awareness and education. But in the age of the internet and information, patients have become more knowledgeable. Personalization enables patients to get what they need and physicians to follow what they want instead of establishing norms. Staying healthy is an individual right, and that makes it a personal choice to stay healthy. We can solve many of our performance and efficiency problems by bringing in personalized healthcare to every human being.

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Adam Tabriz is a Physician, Writer, Entrepreneur, and public health policy, expert. He is an advocate for Personal liberty. The combination of his experience and expertise underlines his passion for advocating true “Personalized Healthcare” and “Healthcare without Borders.” His favorite slogan is: “Peace of mind would come to all people through the universal respect for the basic human rights of everyone”

San Francisco, CA
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