Telehealth Battles Physician Burnout

Physician’s Weekly reports that a shocking 42% of U.S. physicians suffer from burnout, diminished enthusiasm for their work that can lead to poor performance.

In a recent Medscape survey of 15,000 physicians, respondents cited three major causes for burnout: unmanageable work schedules, lack of autonomy, and feeling rushed on the job. Fortunately, telehealth can help alleviate all three of those problems.

Telehealth makes schedules more manageable

Some doctors now designate specific days of the week as “telemedicine days” where they can see patients from the comfort of their homes, eliminating stressful commuting.

Gain greater autonomy

A growing number of providers are splitting their schedules between telehealth and in-person consultations. Many find that they have a keener eye for the patient’s condition when they observe remotely in a relaxed, uninterrupted setting.

Reduce the need to hurry

Many physicians feel rushed because they have to physically move from room to room all day. They constantly move from rounds to department meetings, and back to their offices. Telehealth can help simplify the workday, providing more time for patient interaction.

A major trend in medicine is younger doctors accepting salaried jobs to avoid the 12+ hour days their older colleagues have long endured. More and more physicians are insisting that their time is more valuable than money. They would rather make less than become burned out doing rounds on Christmas morning or miss another birthday party because of on-call commitments.

The motto of these younger physicians is “balance, not burnout”, and telehealth is quickly becoming their #1 tool for achieving it.