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Frustrated by Regulations, Doctors Increasingly Miserable, Survey Finds

Online contest seeks new ideas for better medicine

The nationwide “Physician Misery Index” is 3.7 out of 5.0, with the majority of physicians reporting that the business and regulation of health care has worsened the practice of medicine, according to a report published by Geneia.

The health-care solutions company conducted a nationwide survey among more than 400 physicians who practiced medicine full time.

According to the report, 67% of those surveyed knew a physician who was likely to stop practicing in the next 5 years as the result of burnout. This included both younger and more-experienced doctors.

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed reported having considered career options outside of clinical practice. That percentage was even higher among those who had been practicing medicine for less than 10 years –– 62% said they had considered other options.

More than three-quarters (78%) of surveyed doctors reported frequently feeling rushed when seeing patients, and 87% said that the business and regulation of health care have changed the practice of medicine for the worse.

Geneia has partnered with physicians to create the Joy of Medicine challenge, an online competition to solicit ideas to restore the meaning behind the practice of medicine. A panel of physicians together with peer-sourced online voting will judge the ideas, and cash prizes will be awarded.

“Today’s physician is juggling increasing demands, and the level of stress and burnout is escalating,” Jennifer Joe, MD, chief executive officer of Medstro, which is managing the challenge, said in a statement. “It's high time we involve physicians in creating solutions to restore their joy in practicing medicine.”

Sources: Medical Xpress; March 11, 2015; and Geneia; March 5, 2015.

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