Burnout, Gender, and Measuring Productivity

Jul 22, 2017 | Gender, Understanding Burnout | 0 comments

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I recently wrote a piece for athena insight, based on a focused review of athenahealth’s data on physician gender and burnout. What I saw intrigued me, and led me to think we need a better way to measure and reward the work that physicians do…

Is the practice of medicine a different experience for male and female physicians? Two recent studies from athenahealth suggest that it is — in ways that should make us rethink what we value in health care.The first study found that male physicians are more productive than their female counterparts. In an analysis of 47 million visits on the athenahealth network in 2016, male physicians generated 30 to 40 percent more work RVUs than female physicians. (A work RVU, or relative value unit, is a measure of physician work effort that is used to calculate reimbursement.)

The second study found that professional burnout is higher among women physicians. A survey of 1,029 practicing physicians found that women under 45, in particular, were significantly more likely to report burnout than men.
In other words, women physicians are both less productive and more likely to burn out.

Read more here.

Photo credit: Fotolia

[ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ]

Diane W. Shannon

MD, MPH, ACC

Diane Shannon is an award-winning writer, author, and coach. Since leaving practice as a primary care physician due to burnout, she has worked to support physicians in achieving their personal and professional goals and to highlight the changes needed to reduce burnout, improve career satisfaction, and protect the bidirectional healing power of the patient-physician relationship.

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