Physicians Anonymous

Physicians Anonymous Offerings

New year, new you?

As the new year begins, what are you going to do differently to improve your well-being and happiness? 

In this article, we walk you through your options: change at your job, change your job, or change yourself. The latter option is made easier through Physicians Anonymous’s offerings.

Are you OK, Doctor?

Sadly, our chances of being ok as a physician in 2024 are less than calling heads on a coin flip.

Over 50% of us are burned out.

Some 23% of us are depressed.

These 2023 data come from the Medscape Burnout and Depression survey.

It makes for depressing reading. Burnout is up from 47% in 2021. Depression was estimated at 15% in 2018.

Roughly two in three doctors admitted to experiencing burnout during the pandemic, according to a survey from the AMA, the Mayo Clinic and Stanford Medicine.

Most shockingly, around 1 physician takes their own life every day (300-400 per year).

So we are not a happy or healthy group despite being smart, full of grit, creative, execllent problem-solvers, and resilient. Yes, we are super resilient. And we are also hurting.

So, of the things we can change, what can we do differently this year?

Change at our jobs?

Multiple sources of evidence converge around job stress, lack of autonomy, admin overload, and lack of rest as the common factors underlying this epidemic of physician burnout. 

While some employers are good at listening to their workforce, many are not. Profit-driven medicine, corporate pressures, duties to shareholders and the board, all lead to a profit before patients culture in way too many US “healthcare” groups.

When doctors start complaining about the issues above — which all affect patient care, revenue, clinical error, etc — many organizations see only the temporary loss in revenue/productivity or increase in costs that giving more time off or employing medical scribes may bring. They do not see the long game that investing in their staff at the coal face — without whom the wheels of healthcare will stop — will pay many times a return on their investment.

Still, as more physicians unionize, there are opportunities to engage with administration and solve problems together. If we can show that our suggestions improve what’s important to the C-suite, we have a chance.

Administrators care about the financial bottom line, but also about patient reviews, malpractice litigation, and (increasingly) staff well-being.

Change our jobs?

Yet when an employer does not appreciate you, in a country short of 30,000+ physicians, maybe we have more choice than we realise.

Maybe it’s time to move to somewhere that cares about their staff. Where you get adequate rest time. Where staff are listened to. Where patient care comes first. 

  • Check out the reviews
  • Talk to physicians employed there
  • Walk the corridors
  • Make phone calls
  • Talk to the nurses and therapists
  • The most important staff groups in the building? Talk to the porters and medical secretaries.

I know that it’s easy for me to say. Maybe you’ve got kids in school and there are not that many opportunities nearby. Maybe you’re worried about paying off your loans, or you’ve just bought a house, or whatever.

Of course it is your call.

But I will ask this: If your job is making you ill, how long before it affects your patient care, your marriage, your kids, your life?

If you are fortunate to work for yourself or in a forward-thinking, physician-friendly, well-being-focused healthcare employer, we offer the Burnout Vaccine as a science-based investment in prevention:

The Burnout Vaccine (TM)

Our physicians go on a 12-week small group coaching journey of personal development in a safe space, emerging healthier and happier doctors. 

Available on site or virtual, we model Cognitive Behavioral and Positive Psychology skills to reframe the challenges of a modern medical career and overcome self-limiting beliefs. 

We use evidence-based techniques proven to reduce burnout, emotional exhaustion, and impostor syndrome. 

We impart the stress management and life skills that medical schools and postgraduate training simply do not have the time for:

  • Understanding your values
  • Growth mindset
  • Impostor syndrome and perfectionism
  • Boundary setting
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Receiving critical feedback
  • Mental health awareness
  • Suicide reduction
  • Healthy relationships
  • Work-life balance
  • Handling betrayal & litigation
  • And more…
Our graduates form bonds, peer-support groups, and lifelong friendships. These skills hold value throughout their careers.
Our Coaches are also available as Hospital Liaisons, bridging the gap between physician and administration with the express purposes of problem solving and improving staff well-being.

Our Coaches are also available as Hospital Liaisons, bridging the gap between physician and administration with the express purposes of problem solving and improving staff well-being.

Safe spaces

Whether in our physician-only peer groups, Coaching, the Burnout Vaccine, or in Hospital Liaison roles, we know that anonymity and confidentiality are key. 

Therefore, our primary purpose is to create safe spaces for physicians to be humans first and healers second.

Peer-support is increasingly recognized as effective for many mental health issues.

Coaching is great for reducing burnout measures and improving self-efficacy.

We recommend you try whatever takes your fancy. If it’s not for you, don’t give up – try something else until you find your groove.

How can we help you?

In summary, Physicians Anonymous offers a number of services for physicians in distress, burnout, mental illness and addiction. All medical students and physicians are welcome.

  • FREE anonymous physician-only peer-support groups here.

  • Consider engaging one of our Physicians Anonymous-approved Coaches here.

  • Prevention is better then cure! Find our about our Burnout Vaccine(TM) which teaches you the skills the med school/residency don’t have time for, to move from surviving to thriving in medicine.

How can you help us?

Physicians Anonymous, as a not-for-profit, relies entirely on the service of a group of amazing healers who give their time freely to help their colleagues.

We are always looking for volunteers to help us expand our group offerings, raise awareness, and more. We NEED to shift the needle on physician well-being this year.

All medical students and physicians are welcome.

  • Become a Physicians Anonymous Grand Rounds speaker – find out more here.

  • Become a Peer-group co-facilitator (voluntary role, 1 hr a week commitment) – find out more here.

  • Help us with fundraising, blog-writing, publicity, marketing, ideas, etc.

  • Share our flyer with your network.

  • Share our posts with your socials (below).

Caveat:  NB – your cup needs to be full enough to pour out for others. We do not want to add to anyone’s existing stress or burnout levels. Consider what’s on your plate before committing.

Schedule a call at your best time

We would love to connect and see how we can help you

Leave a Reply