Neil H. Baum, MD, presented “Wellness: The Other Side of the Burnout Coin” for the Grand Rounds in Urology audience in November 2021.

How to cite: Baum, Neil H. Wellness: The Other Side of the Burnout Coin.” November 2021. Accessed Dec 2021. https://grandroundsinurology.com/wellness-the-other-side-of-the-burnout-coin/

Wellness: The Other Side of the Burnout Coin

Grand Rounds in Urology Contributing Editor Neil H. Baum, MD, Professor of Urology at Tulane Medical School, considers the causes and consequences of burnout in urologists and makes suggestions for developing a urologist wellness program. He explains that urologists are unwell because they work an average of 50 to 60 hours per week, tend to be type-A perfectionists, have to deal with increased paperwork, have lost autonomy, and are forced to focus on cost rather than on patients. Dr. Baum notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problems doctors face, and anxiety and depression among doctors has increased from 10% before the pandemic to 40% now. He also explains that, unlike in some other professions, there are few resources available to physicians to aid them in wellness, although there is now a physician support line. Dr. Baum then lists the consequences of physicians being unwell, most notably job dissatisfaction leading to a failure to discuss treatment options and answer patients’ questions, which in turn leads to poor patient compliance, unfavorable outcomes, more malpractice suits, and more negative online reviews. Conversely, physician wellness improves quality of care for patients, enhances patient satisfaction and online reviews, and leads to increased personal and professional success for the physicians. Dr. Baum concludes with some suggestions for starting a wellness program for urologists, highlighting the success of a counseling program at a hospital which saw a significant decrease in exhaustion, burnout, and sick leave among physicians in the program.  

For more commentary on practice management from Dr. Baum, visit his Improving Your Urology Practice page.