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Medical society plans to convene stakeholders, pursue physician health program to fight burnout

02/05/2019 10:42 AM | Jamie Michael (Administrator)

The Wisconsin Medical Society plans to create a center focused on fighting physician burnout this year as well as pursue legislation to create a physician health program, according to a recent report showing more than half of Wisconsin physicians reporting burnout.

The report, based on a survey of 1,165 Wisconsin doctors, showed that nearly 53.5 percent are experiencing one symptom of burnout. And 47.1 percent plan to decrease clinical hours or retire early in the next five years.

“We continue to see higher percentages of physicians identifying one or more of the symptoms of burnout,” said society CEO Dr. Bud Chumbley. “That’s troublesome.”

The survey found that electronic health records were a top stressor for doctors, as well as government and insurance regulations and an unsupportive work environment.

To address burnout, Chumbley said that the society is planning to launch the Center for Physician Empowerment this year, which will seek to convene health systems in the state to share what they’re doing to address burnout efforts.

They’re also working on additional physician leadership and mentorship programs. Chumbley also said he's spoken with Verona-based Epic about the problem as well. He’s hoping to talk with insurers about their policies too.

“Our job is to identify these problems, try to get those individuals who can help solve them,” Chumbley said. “Hopefully, if we get all those people in a room, talking about how to solve it, that’s the best way to reverse this trend.” 

The medical society is also working with the Medical Examining Board to develop legislation that would create a physician health program run by the state.

Chumbley said Wisconsin is one of the few states that doesn't have a physician health program. The society previously ran such a program, but it ended in 2007 due to "legal concerns and difficulties coordinating funding for the program," the report noted.


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