Like the quality movement that has transformed health care over the past decade, solving the problem of physician burnout is a process, not a simple set of one-time fixes or action items. Think improving workflow, communication, and culture. A proper diagnosis is essential to a cure. Above all, engaged leadership is crucial to reducing burnout.
These were the takeaways from an extraordinary discussion at an NEJM Catalyst in-person roundtable, “Seeking Solutions to Physician Burnout,” which brought together experts with different perspectives on this pressing issue: a medical group CEO, a chief wellness officer and leading researcher on burnout, a psychologist who created the leading survey instrument, and a consultant and executive coach for physicians and physician organizations. Sponsored by IBM Watson Health, NEJM Catalyst editors moderated the discussion, supported by survey results of the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council that point the way toward solutions to combat burnout and its causes.