We hope over the past few years we’ve made a good case about why Direct Primary Care practices like Direct Doctors are good for patients. But, we felt it worth mentioning...DPC is great for Docs too!
If you’re a patient looking for a doctor, you may say, “Why do I care if this is better for doctors?” Well, you should care and I will explain why!
Do you know that nearly 50% of primary care physicians are experiencing “burnout” - meaning they feel overwhelmed, overworked, or underappreciated in their jobs? What does burnout lead to? It means your doctor might be retiring early, his care might be sub-par, or he might be cutting back on his hours.
What is causing doctors - who have worked so hard for so many years and amassed a mountain of debt to do what they do - to feel like they are ready to cut back or leave the profession? The major reasons for burnout are related to the requirement that a typical PCP see 20-25 patients per day at the office (which not only includes seeing those patients, but refilling prescriptions, returning calls, and filling out paperwork). Each patient requires a full note about them, which alone can take 5-10 minutes to complete (and these days requires the checking off of multiple boxes about whether smoking cessation counseling was done, weight management was discussed, etc. etc. so that insurance companies and corporations can better “track” physician efforts). The typical physician, working an 8-9 hour day, spends 1-2 hours after work completing notes and paperwork.
Now, imagine you are that physician, working 4 to 5 8-9 hour days per week, driving 30 minutes to work each way, spending an hour or two at night on the couch writing notes - oh, and also, spending 7-10 minutes on average with each patient you see per day. Your love of medicine starts to fade because you went into it to help patients and now all you have time for in a visit is to refer your patient to someone else and to order some tests or prescriptions that you know may not be necessary or “the best” solution, but you feel you need to offer something concrete to your patient, so you trudge along doing the best you can with what you’ve got!
If someone suggested that you could improve your burnout by exercising, meditating, and counseling, you might try those things or you might feel frustrated that on top of your busy schedule a corporate executive thinks what you really need to do is work harder at working harder and carve more time out of your family/home life to reduce your work-related burnout.
But now, in steps Direct Primary Care. While there are financial risks in starting your own business, a DPC physician can be his own boss. He can stop fighting with insurance companies and corporate officers. He can stop seeing 25 patients per day. He can start spending as much time with each patient as he or she needs. He can call, text, and email his patients easily within his day at the office. And, he can cut out a huge percentage of paperwork. While he may take a while to recoup the same salary, he most certainly will very quickly feel less burnout. And when your doctor feels happy, healthy, and motivated to do his job, you, as his patient, can feel that!
If you’re interested in what it’s like seeing a DPC doctor with lots of time for your needs, where you won’t feel rushed or unheard, and you won’t feel shepherded off to specialists, check out how we do things differently at www.directdoctors.org. And remember, a happy & healthy doctor can make all the difference!
3/6/2019 10:15:45 pm
My cousin was not feeling well for days now and my aunt suggested seeing a doctor right away. It was explained here that it's important to see a doctor who has time for him and meet his medical needs. Moreover, it's recommended to go to a trusted primary care doctor for quality health care.
6/26/2020 11:28:20 am
I like what you said about using direct primary care since the physician can spend as much time with patients as they need to. My sister wants to make sure that her family gets the right medical care in the coming months. I'll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for primary care that can help with this.
2/5/2021 07:26:04 pm
You know, I never thought about how primary care physicians who experience burnout are more likely to give you sub-par care. The last thing I want to deal with is a doctor who won't properly help me. That just sounds like a horrible experience and a waste of money. Hopefully, we can find a doctor who is at their prime.
3/31/2021 09:22:11 am
I want to make sure that I get the medical help I need. It makes sense that going to the right doctor would be important! I'll be sure to choose someone who has lots of medical experience.
6/1/2021 05:05:58 pm
It got me when you said that doctors in direct primary care feel less burnout because they can stop seeing 25 patients per day. As you also said, they can spend as much time with each patient as they need. I'll share this information with my husband because his mother has a chronic health condition. This can give her quick access to care.
6/16/2021 11:36:42 pm
I really like your idea.
8/26/2021 04:12:40 pm
Thanks for this amazing blog, I really like your method, keep it up.
9/2/2021 11:03:55 am
I can see how a physician could experience burnout by doing a ton of tests and prescriptions. A bunch of people might not get why this is the case at first. But physicians are human too and they get just as tired as the rest of us.
11/2/2021 01:13:54 am
My wife mentioned she has been experiencing some pain in her abdomen. I do agree that when looking for a primary care physician, it is advisable that we consider their qualifications. Assuming that I need a physician for my wife, I will remember to ask about their experience.
3/2/2022 10:49:39 pm
It's awesome that this article talked about the importance of having the help that you need at a certain times for safety. My aunt mentioned to me last night that she is planning to find a primary care doctor as she wants to be sure that she will be given treatment as soon as possible if needed and asked if I have any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks to this informative article, I'll be sure to tell her that it will be much better if we consult trusted family primary care services as they can answer all our inquiries.
3/27/2022 01:19:25 pm
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6/1/2022 04:19:30 am
I liked how this post pointed out that seeing 20-25 patients per day at the office is what causes burnout in doctors. My friend is looking for a primary health care facility that can oversee her health. I should advise her to look for a facility that considers the well-being of its staff.
11/6/2022 06:59:35 pm
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Lauren Hedde, DO; James Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Co- Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.