Physician Burnout: ‘Doctors Became Overworked Robots’

Data hungry Technocrats have fundamentally taken over the health care industry by mandating ‘Electronic Health Records’ and ‘Evidence-Based Medicine’. The outcome has ruined the American health care system and is driving physicians out of practice by the droves. ⁃ TN Editor

Physicians may be more stressed than ever — one recent survey found that half were thinking about hanging up their stethoscopes for good. New research continues to demonstrate the demise of doctors, with burnout levels jumping dramatically over just a three-year span.

According to researchers at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, physician burnout increased from 45.5% to 54.4% between 2011 and 2014. The researchers say doctors aren’t more depressed or exhausted by their home life, but rather at their jobs.

Drs. Andrew G. Alexander and Kenneth A. Ballou isolated three factors for physician burnout, according to their research:

  • The traditional doctor-patient relationship has been dwarfed by the relationship between health insurance providers and patients, with companies standing in the way of fast and appropriate treatments ordered by physicians.
  • Doctors are feeling more cynical as a whole, because patients don’t expect continuity of care anymore and routinely change doctors.
  • General lack of enthusiasm for their work.

“It should be a treat to care about another person, but I see that too many of our seasoned physicians are frustrated with medicine, and it rubs off onto the physicians in training,” Alexander says in a university release. “Doctors have a wonderful job, yet they are inundated with numerous extraneous burdens that collectively rob them of the joy of medicine.”

The researchers compared data from between 2011 and 2014 on physician burnout and their satisfaction with their work-life balance. They found that physician burnout indicators are the highest in the fields of emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics. Alexander and Ballou also hypothesized that five transformational medical practice events which occurred between 2011 and 2014 contributed to the spike in physician burnout.

“These are hospital purchases of medical groups, rising drug prices, the Affordable Care Act, ‘pay for performance’ in which providers are offered financial incentives to improve quality and efficiency, and mandated electronic health records,” explains Alexander. “Doctors now spend more time with electronic health records than they do with patients. Electronic health records were pushed by the government at great expense and without regard to the effects upon patient or physician health. Go into any hospital and look for the nurses and the doctors. You will find them sitting in front of computers. They are not happy, and their patients are not healthier.”

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The American Journal of Medicine

Work–Life Balance, Burnout, and the Electronic Health Record

United States physicians were studied by Shanafelt et al in 2011, and again in 2014, regarding burnout and satisfaction with work–life balance.1 Physician burnout increased significantly, from 45.5% to 54.4%. Parallel studies of all US workers during the same period showed no changes.

There are several possible explanations for this. New physician members were added to the cohort between 2011 and 2014. It is conceivable new expectations could have changed the outcome. Since the internet-enabled smart-phone users born after 1982 had barely begun to graduate residency in 2014, however, it seems more than a stretch to blame yet another malady on “Millennials”.

The rates of physician suicide and depression remained stable from 2011 to 2014, whereas the “healthy work–life balance” portion of the Shanafelt study dropped from 48.5% to 40.9%. The definition of work–life balance has been variously misused, but in the most general sense it focuses on satisfaction with work and the ability to have a happy life away from work. The Maslach Burnout Inventory was used to measures personal accomplishment, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization.2 Doctors are not depressed or less content at home, they are less happy at work.

Physician burnout is characterized by 1) a feeling of a lack of accomplishment; 2) feelings of cynicism; and 3) a loss of zeal, zest, and enthusiasm for work. Apart from the effects burnout has on individual physicians, there is evidence that relationships with patients and family also suffer. Although increased burnout has been found to be notably worse in primary care and emergency room physicians, it has also worsened in 18 of the 20 categories of specialist physicians sampled. When compared with the absence of worsening in the general US working population, and noting the spectrum of advancing earnings among the general US workforce compared with doctors in primary care, or higher earning Emergency Medicine doctors, or still higher earning subspecialists, we can conclude that higher physician earnings are neither a cure nor a cause of burnout. Something else is happening to our beloved profession.

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New York Mayor Swoons Over Green New Deal

The Green New Deal delusion is catching on like wildfire. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has caved to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’ by suggesting that “We’re going to ban the classic glass and steel skyscrapers.”  ⁃ TN Editor

Mayor Bill de Blasio marked Earth Day by outlining measures to make New York greener Monday, including dramatically cutting the carbon footprint of the city’s signature building, the skyscraper.

“We’re going to ban the classic glass and steel skyscrapers, which are incredibly inefficient,” he told MSNBC television.

The New York version of the “Green New Deal” currently being pushed by freshmen Democratic members of Congress would make buildings of more than 25,000 square feet (2,300 square meters) cut their emissions by 40 percent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.

The Democratic mayor said that those who fail to meet the new environmental standards could face fines of more than a million dollars, in the case of larger buildings.

The glass-sided towers that arose in the 1960s, and which have proven popular for their panoramic views, will only be approved in the future if they meet strict rules on energy efficiency.

“Every day we wait is a day our planet gets closer to the point of no-return. New York City’s Green New Deal meets that reality head on,” de Blasio said in a statement after signing off on measures adopted by the city council last week.

In recent months, the mayor has unveiled a number of initiatives in line with the more left-leaning Democratic presidential contenders, including a health care plan that would provide coverage for all New York residents, including undocumented immigrants.

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Bad Humans: UN Blames For Extinction Of One Million Species

U.N. Technocrats continue to throw fear-mongering mud at the wall to see what will stick. The extinction hasn’t happened yet, but humans are blamed for it as if it has. The purpose is to drive the world into Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy. ⁃ TN Editor

Up to one million species face extinction due to human influence, according to a draft UN report obtained by AFP that painstakingly catalogues how humanity has undermined the natural resources upon which its very survival depends.

The accelerating loss of clean air, drinkable water, CO2-absorbing forests, pollinating insects, protein-rich fish and storm-blocking mangroves — to name but a few of the dwindling services rendered by Nature — poses no less of a threat than climate change, says the report, set to be unveiled May 6.

Indeed, biodiversity loss and global warming are closely linked, according to the 44-page Summary for Policy Makers, which distills a 1,800-page UN assessment of scientific literature on the state of Nature.

Delegates from 130 nations meeting in Paris from April 29 will vet the executive summary line-by-line. Wording may change, but figures lifted from the underlying report cannot be altered.

“We need to recognise that climate change and loss of Nature are equally important, not just for the environment, but as development and economic issues as well,” Robert Watson, chair of the UN-mandated body that compiled the report, told AFP, without divulging its findings.

“The way we produce our food and energy is undermining the regulating services that we get from Nature,” he said, adding that only “transformative change” can stem the damage.

Deforestation and agriculture, including livestock production, account for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, and have wreaked havoc on natural ecosystems as well.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report warns of “an imminent rapid acceleration in the global rate of species extinction.”

The pace of loss “is already tens to hundreds of times higher than it has been, on average, over the last 10 million years,” it notes.

“Half-a-million to a million species are projected to be threatened with extinction, many within decades.”

Many experts think a so-called “mass extinction event” — only the sixth in the last half-billion years — is already under way.

The most recent saw the end of the Cretaceous period some 66 million years ago, when a 10-kilometre-wide asteroid strike wiped out most lifeforms.

Scientists estimate that Earth is today home to some eight million distinct species, a majority of them insects.

A quarter of catalogued animal and plant species are already being crowded, eaten or poisoned out of existence.

The drop in sheer numbers is even more dramatic, with wild mammal biomass — their collective weight — down by 82 percent.

Humans and livestock account for more than 95 percent of mammal biomass.

“If we’re going to have a sustainable planet that provides services to communities around the world, we need to change this trajectory in the next ten years, just as we need to do that with climate,” noted WWF chief scientist Rebecca Shaw, formerly a member of the UN scientific bodies for both climate and biodiversity.

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