Ophthalmology Business

SEP 2018

Ophthalmology Business is focused on business topics relevant to the entrepreneurial ophthalmologist. It offers editorial, opinion, and practical tips for physicians running an ophthalmic practice. It is a companion publication of EyeWorld.

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September 2018 • Ophthalmology Business 7 administrative tasks and pressures to document more," Dr. Windover said. In light of that, she said they implemented things like "tap and go" badge login for the electronic medical record (EMR). It might sound like a small thing—the amount of time it takes to log in to an EMR— but Dr. Windover said it's a specific way to shave off time that adds up. They also added IT personnel to be more available to doctors when using the EMR and to improve efficiencies in using the record when possible. Cleveland Clinic added support staff to answer questions from patients, so that task is not entirely on the physician. In addition to efforts to im- prove efficiencies, Dr. Windover said Cleveland Clinic has engaged all physicians in relationship-centered communication skills training with an 8-hour experiential course. They measured burnout before and 3 months after that course and found that it resulted in higher levels of empathy and less burnout. "My last word would be one of hope because there are organizations that have been able to implement changes and demonstrate improve- ments. It's going to be a learning process, but it's one that we finally have national attention being paid to it. … As people start to shift their focus, they're going to be able to provide more effective and compre- hensive interventions," Dr. Windover said. OB References 1. Windover AK, et al. Correlates and out- comes of physician burnout within a large academic medical center. JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178:856–858. 2. Maslach C, Jackson S. The measurement of experienced burnout. J Occupational Behaviour. 1981;2:99–113. Editors' note: Dr. Windover has no financial interests related to her comments. Contact information Windover: WINDOVA@ccf.org S ylvie Stacy, MD, owner, Iatric Edge, Birmingham, Alabama, recognized while in medical school that the traditional path of full-time clinical work and being on call would not be for her. She knew she would feel burned out with that lifestyle. "I found myself looking forward to lectures and didactics much more than clinical sessions," Dr. Stacy said, adding that she loved the science of medicine. "Medical school and residency are long and in- depth enough that I think you can gain an adequate understanding of what types of positions you'll be happy with in the long run." In Dr. Stacy's opinion, too many medical students and residents go through training thinking their feelings of burnout will get better over time. "There is this common, false understanding that young doctors need to 'put in their time' of overworked, underpaid misery in order to earn the coveted, prestigious, and well-compensated doctor lifestyle. It doesn't work this way," said Dr. Stacy, who maintains the blog "Look for Zebras," which focuses on helping physicians find career fulfillment in medical and non-medical positions, as well as other areas of their lives. "If you're truly unhappy during training or your first few years of real- world work, it's not just because you're still in training or on a learning curve. It's something more than that, and it's important to be honest with yourself about what it is that makes you unsatisfied or exhausted. "If it's dealing with insurance companies, you could look into a cash-only practice, for example," Dr. Stacy continued. "If your list is long, you need to start looking outside of traditional positions in med- icine. Consider something in telemedicine or correctional health if you want to do clinical work, or look into pharmaceutical company oppor- tunities, management consulting, medical writing, or starting your own business if non-clinical work is better suited for you." For those who have the drive to be in traditional medicine, Dr. Stacy said selectivity in the job is key. "The first step is to spend ample time researching an organization and use the interview process to interview them and talk to current em- ployees," she said. "Choose a culture that you feel at home in. Then ne- gotiate for a position and job description that meets your specific needs [in terms of] the responsibilities, the hours, the administrative load, the PTO, the on-call schedule, etc. Make sure it's something that will work for your needs. … If the company is not willing to negotiate with you, keep looking. A company that truly values you and your happiness will work with you on these things." OB Contact information Stacy: sylvie.stacy@gmail.com Finding the right fit to avoid burnout in the first place

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