The Burnout Crisis in American Medicine

May 11, 2018

(The Atlantic) – I felt deflated. For hours, my attention had been consumed by challenges of coordination rather than actual patient care. And still the patient was at risk of experiencing delays for both of the things she needed—not for any medical reason, but simply because of an inflexible computer system and a poor workflow. Situations like this are not rare, and they are vexing in part because they expose the widening gap between the ideal and reality of medicine. Doctors become doctors because they want to take care of patients. Their decade-long training focuses almost entirely on the substance of medicine—on diagnosing and treating illness. In practice, though, many of their challenges relate to the operations of medicine—managing a growing number of patients, coordinating care across multiple providers, documenting it all.

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