Preventing Physician Burnout

Our book helps you understand what to do about physician burnout

In Preventing Physician Burnout: Curing the Chaos and Returning Joy to the Practice of Medicine, my co-author and I define burnout, explore the consequences for physicians, patients, and the health care system, and identify the underlying causes that are fueling the epidemic. Based on extensive interviews, we give voice to patient advocates, burnout researchers, leaders of health care organizations, and the physicians themselves.

We also share examples of strategies that hospitals and physician practices across the United States are using to address the root causes of burnout among physicians, including action items for preventing burnout and curbing the crisis.

“It is hard to see how we can create the health care system we want and need on the backs of joyless and unengaged doctors. This well-written, practical book offers the prescription we need to address this crisis.”

– Robert Wachter, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, author of The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age

Praise from Readers

“Offers the prescription we need to address this crisis”

DeChant and Shannon have addressed one of the central issues of health care today: physician burnout. It is hard to see how we can create the health care system we want and need on the backs of joyless and unengaged doctors. This well-written, practical book offers the prescription we need to address this crisis.

– Robert Wachter, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, Author of The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age

“A must-read for health care leaders.”

DeChant and Shannon make a powerful and compelling argument for how to reduce physician burnout. The comprehensive case studies and physician interviews in this book clarify the symptoms, causes, and treatment for burnout. A must-read for health care leaders.

– John Toussaint, MD, Chief Executive Officer, ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value

“A must-read for health care leaders and policy experts and in fact anyone trying to improve health care delivery.”

DeChant and Shannon make a powerful and compelling argument for how to reduce physician burnout. The comprehensive case studies and physician interviews in this book clarify the symptoms, causes, and treatment for burnout. A must-read for health care leaders.

– Joan Wellman, Executive Vice President, Simpler Healthcare, Founder, JWA Consulting

“I love the message of this book…that there is hope for all of us to have joy return to our chosen professions.”

We live in a VUCA world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. For many their joy and professional satisfaction has evaporated, as they feel more and more overwhelmed, isolated, and powerless in the chaos of organizational stress. I love the message of this book. It looks into the abyss of burnout and the distressed organization and asserts that there is hope for all of us to have joy return to our chosen professions from the C suite to the front line, if only we can embrace the principles of “Lean Done Right” and together build a better future on its core principles of respect and continuous improvement.

– Gene Lindsey, MD, Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Atrius Health

“The authors are addressing one of the most critical issues in health care delivery today.”

In this book, the authors are addressing one of the most critical issues in health care delivery today, and more importantly, doing so in a way that addresses the real challenges and opportunities to create the kind of health care systems that treat our patients well but also support our caregivers to serve the critical role that they play without having to damage themselves in the process.

– James Hereford, Chief Operating Officer, Stanford University Medical Center

“An inspiring vision of workplaces where health care teams can thrive and do their best work for the patients and families they serve.”

Can physicians restore satisfaction and sustainability to the practice of medicine? Drs. Paul DeChant and Diane Shannon provide an inspiring vision of workplaces where health care teams can thrive and do their best work for the patients and families they serve.

– John E. Billi, MD, Associate Vice President for Medical Affairs, The University of Michigan

“One of the most practical books that I have read regarding physician and overall health care system efficiency.”

One of the most practical books that I have read regarding physician and overall health care system efficiency. The interviews and quotes from current industry leaders are invaluable. Preventing Physician Burnout not only provides real-world accounts of the many EHR reasons for the burnout epidemic, it also lays out clear and concise ways for health care leaders to address them.

– David K. Butler, MD, Vice President for Information Services, EHR Optimization, and Transformation Initiatives Sutter Health

“The book we’ve all been waiting for.”

This is the book we’ve all been waiting for. A comprehensive, thoughtful discussion of the organizational causes and solutions to physician burnout. Any physician or health care leader will benefit from reading this book.

– Wayne M. Sotile, PhD, Founder, Center for Physician Resilience, Author of The Resilient Physician: Effective Emotional Management for Doctors and Their Medical Organizations

“Offers a prescription for the cure.”

Curing the Chaos and Returning Joy to the Practice of Medicine does a fantastic job of assessing and diagnosing the underlying etiology of physician burnout. It also offers a prescription for the cure. Lean can’t save the world, but it can save US health care.

– Montgomery Elmer, MD, Family Physician, ThedaCare

“This is a book full of grit and resiliency as we all advocate for change in a system that often marginalizes doctors.”

Using anecdotes as well as peer-reviewed research on the topic, Paul DeChant and Diane Shannon have created a handbook for physicians will be taken to reduce or eliminate physician burnout. This is a book full of grit and resiliency as we all advocate for change in a system that often marginalizes doctors. Bravo!

– Michelle Mudge-Riley, DO, MHA, Career Coach for Physicians

“Focus attention on a critically important issue: the prevention of physician burnout.”

In this book, DeChant and Shannon focus attention on a critically important issue: the prevention of physician burnout. Addressing this problem and bringing joy back to the workplace will not only improve the lives of clinicians—it will improve the patient experience as well.

– Paul Melinkovich, MD, President, Colorado Medical Services Board Director of Community Health Services, Denver Health

“Essential reading”

Curing the Chaos and Returning Joy to the Practice of Medicine is essential reading. It delves into root causes and offers practical solutions for a critical problem that directly or indirectly affects all of us. Physician burnout has a domino effect on society, and solutions are available. If we continue to turn a blind eye to this problem, we are violating our Hippocratic Oath of “Do no harm” to our colleagues and the many who depend on them.

– Monica Broome, MD, Assistant Professor University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Master Trainer, Institute for Healthcare Communication

“Illuminates the underlying causes of physician burnout.”

When we are ill and vulnerable, what we most need is compassionate and expert care. Yet if our caregivers are themselves stressed beyond their limits, that care will inevitably suffer. This book highlights why this is an issue of pressing concern and illuminates the underlying causes of physician burnout. Most importantly of all, it points to a solution: the building of deep and respectful partnerships that engage all staff, and particularly doctors, in finding a better way of doing things. Better for patients, and better for the caregivers too.

– David Fillingham, Former Chief Executive, Royal Bolton Hospital, United Kingdom

“This handbook will ameliorate the paralysis many health care leaders feel when facing the crisis of burnout in their organizations.”

The phenomenon of physician burnout threatens the sustainability of our nation’s health care system. Drs. DeChant and Shannon effectively tackle this complex problem and provide both physicians and health care leaders with a way to understand the multilayered contributors to the problem while providing concrete, operational interventions that can be implemented immediately. This handbook will ameliorate the paralysis many health care leaders feel when facing the crisis of burnout in their organizations.

– Karen Weiner, MD, MMM, Chief Medical Officer, Oregon Medical Group

“A no-nonsense, plain-language explanation for the root causes of the international challenge of physician burnout.”

DeChant and Shannon provide a no-nonsense, plain-language explanation for the root causes of the international challenge of physician burnout and recommend practical steps to reduce burnout’s drivers. They envision a clear path to burnout prevention that aligns so well with the medical home movement.

– Paul Grundy, MD, MPH, Global Director of Healthcare Transformation, IBM

“Offers a hopeful and practical way forward.”

Physician burnout is a dominant, heartrending reality of the health care industry, but this book offers a hopeful and practical way forward. You’ll find renewed vision and an achievable pathway toward a working environment in which health care workers can truly thrive.

– Peter Anderson, MD, President, Team Care Medicine

“A must read for those physicians and health care leaders who want to disrupt the status quo and lead change.”

Though wellness programs and psychosocial support are important to ameliorate physician burnout, DeChant and Shannon go deeper by addressing root causes; the dysfunctional workplace, the changing health care landscape and a lack of physician empowerment and engagement to influence said workplace. The authors offer the Lean management system as a way to engage physicians to partner with health care leadership in order to rectify the chaotic, reactive, non-standardized, and inefficient state of the daily health care delivery system. Preventing Physician Burnout is a must read for those physicians and health care leaders who want to disrupt the status quo and lead change.

– Craig T. Albanese, MD, MBA, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, Author of Advanced Lean In Healthcare

Diane W. Shannon, MD, MPH, ACC

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Photography by Julia Snider and Kira M. Shannon

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