Skip to comments.1 in 4 Massachusetts doctors plan to leave medicine in coming years, survey finds
Posted on 03/09/2023 9:14:39 PM PST by SeekAndFind
One in four Massachusetts physicians plans to leave medicine in the next two years, according to a survey from the Massachusetts Medical Society that is renewing concerns about the stability of the state’s health care workforce.
More than half of the almost 600 doctors surveyed said they had already cut back on time with patients — or were likely to do so.
Fifty-five percent of doctors overall said they felt burned out. But the rate varies by gender: 63% of women doctors reported burnout, compared with 47% of men.
Concerns about staffing shortages have plagued the health care industry and many other facets of the economy. For health care workers in particular, the COVID pandemic has worsened stress and exhaustion.
“The pandemic really has added to the stress of being a physician,” said Dr. Ted Calianos, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. “And for some, it's resulted in them leaving the workforce sooner than perhaps they could have. A number of physicians that I know have left.”
The most common workplace stressors doctors cited were administrative burdens, such as time spent documenting patient visits and meeting insurance company requirements.
Doctors also are struggling with a shortage of medical office staff. Calianos, a plastic surgeon, said it took him 18 months to fill an open position for a medical assistant at his practice in Mashpee. That meant he was taking patients’ vital signs and doing other tasks typically done by medical assistants, instead of seeing additional patients.
Burnout among health care workers has been recognized as a problem for years. In 2019, the state medical society released a paper calling burnout a “public health crisis.”
The situation started to improve, said Dr. Susannah Rowe, associate chief medical officer for wellness and professional vitality at Boston Medical Center. But “since the pandemic, that trend has reversed, with current studies showing the highest levels of burnout in over a decade,” Rowe said in an email.
Rowe, who authored the medical society’s new report, said as more physicians leave their jobs, the burdens on those who remain increase. “Patients are sicker and need more care, leading to an unsustainable level of stress on people working in health care,” she said.
For patients, this could result in potentially longer wait times, higher costs and worse care.
The report lists several strategies for reducing burnout, including using voice recognition technology to make documentation quicker, reducing insurance prior authorization requirements, developing flexible work policies, and offering tuition assistance to help build a pipeline of health care workers.
It also calls for a new focus on equity and eliminating sexism and racism in the workplace.
Dr. Jessica Dudley, the Boston-based chief clinical officer at Press Ganey, a company that studies patient and physician satisfaction, said health care organizations need to build inclusive cultures that support physicians of all backgrounds. And, she said, they should crowdsource ideas from doctors about how to reduce administrative burdens.
“It’s not enough to raise awareness of these issues. Solving has to be the priority,” Dudley said.
“The pandemic made it really clear that we have to do something.”
Romneycare and Obamacare effect.
Mask and vaccine mandates in hospitals.
Both of my doctors quit last year.
Spoken like gender studies graduate that works in HR.
I don’t know what it’s like in MA, but the doctors I talk to are fed up with corporate medicine.
> It also calls for a new focus on equity and eliminating sexism and racism in the workplace. <
Medicare payments to physicians are not keeping up with inflation. I suspect that the same is true with private insurance payments. Then you have the silly trash such as noted above.
Everything is falling apart in this country. And if you dig down even a little, you’ll see that it’s all due to “progressive” Democrat policies.
instead, party hardy in college and take education courses and then have half the year off, a no fire policy, and work short days without worrying over life and death decisions and make 6 figures....
I don't blame drs.....
let that 4th grade social studies teacher intubate somebody in ICU or perform a heart transplant....
That was not going on in 2019.
And they plan to do what? Flip burgers at Rotten Ronnies?
If you’ve spent 8 or 10 years of your life becoming a Doctor, you pretty much only have one thing that you’re any good at... That’s being a Doctor.
After equity changes, people not qualified to be doctors, will be doing just that and murdering people. But we will have more minority and perverts with Dr credentials.
And patients who now demand things that are questionable or unreasonable while abusing us.
When women enter what was a traditional men’s field they do not work at the same levels or for the same duration as men.
The mass mds I know say it is the crushing state diktats, interference and overwhelming insurance nightmare.
They largely feel they are not able to be doctors, but are de facto state employees ruled over by the insurance companies. And that is why they are getting out.
That should take care of it. /s
The system is near collapse. And it’s not just Massachusetts, not by any means.
They might as well leave; they’ve been proven to be useless over the last three years, and have caused more harm than help.
Here’s my message to the younglings: There will always be doctors. There will always be nurses. There will always be hospitals.
The wellness officers, the compliance officers, the coders, the AI-billing software, the prescription benefit managers, the assistant Vice Presidents for equity, the “care managers”, the value line administrators, the Medicare Advantage Plan directors and a dozen others I need a second cup of coffee to remember - the storm is coming, and when it’s over, all of THAT will look very different.
“After equity changes, people not qualified to be doctors, will be doing just that and murdering people.”
That’s not new. In 2007, my mom’s AA physician came close to killing her.
I didn’t realize just how bad things were until my sister was hospitalized in January with Flu/pneumonia. She had to be put on a vent for several weeks, then for two weeks they could not dial back the sedative because her heart rate and BP skyrocketed - when I visited I saw she was in obvious pain during PT and suggested to my BIL they give her pain meds. They started them the next day and within 24 hours she was able to be tapered off the sedative and was placed on a trach. She is off the trach now, just in rehab.
I kept suggesting my BIL stay on top of her care but at first he said he trusted the nurses/docs because they took such good care of her (same hospital) years ago when she had a stroke. I told him it is not the same now. Now he keeps seeing mistakes and poor care and now he is watching like a hawk. He has to leave work nearly every day to address some issue there.
She has been in two step down facilities since and it keeps getting bad to worse. She has been left in her wheelchair for as much as 5 hours, she has not had her diaper changed for hours, they failed twice to secure her transport to her orthopedist because she has a torn rotator cuff and it is really hindering her PT. She has had to wait all day for pain meds. She has had several medication errors and just missing meds (some are which are critical, she has a blood clotting disorder). She is in a room that is probably 15x15’ with two other patients. There is not enough room for a person to visit and sit in a chair. She has COPD and it was pulling teeth to get the doc to order O2 even though she has a prescription from her pulmonary specialist she sees regularly.
I’ve never seen anything like it. I know when my FIL had surgery in Jan 2022, my husband had to stay at the hospital 24/7 for 12 days because there was no one to make sure my FIL was eating and he couldn’t communicate anything due to dementia.
I could go on and on. Fortunately, she is lucid and can call and text me and her husband anytime, the nurse manager gave her number as well. She wants to go home, she could go home, she has the resources for equipment and caregivers, and home PT and I have it all lined up. The problem now is my BIL keeps talking her out of it because he is intimidated by her care (a story for another day).
On the flip side, we found my FIL’s hospice care and caregiving agencies to be amazing (they were here for a year). Most of the docs, RNs, and CNAs in those agencies had left the hospital setting after Covid.
That is true too.
Generally is the qualifier.
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