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Advocacy: The Joy of Stepping Out of Our Clinics

Danielle Shelton, MD, writes about how advocacy helps our patients, but can help us (physicians), too.

I remember the reasons I became a physician.

I had a list of lofty goals that were similar to my colleagues:

make a difference,

do something that matters,

be an integral part of my community.

Somewhere along the way of a grueling medical school education, an exhausting residency, and the realization that attending life was just a different leg of the rat race, I grew disenchanted with medicine.

 

Somewhere along the way of a grueling medical school education, an exhausting residency, and the realization that attending life was just a different leg of the rat race, I grew disenchanted with medicine. Click To Tweet

 

How did my dream of making a difference or doing something that mattered fit into a 15 minute clinic visit?

A visit filled with checking 10 meaningless boxes for ‘quality measures’ and wishing my patients good luck on their lifestyle changes over the next 3-4 months.

 

How did my dream of making a difference or doing something that mattered fit into a 15 minute clinic visit? Click To Tweet

 

According to the Harvard report, physician burnout is “a public health crisis that urgently demands action.”

Half of all physicians report troubling symptoms: depression, exhaustion, dissatisfaction and a sense of failure.

I would hazard a guess some of this high level of burnout is due to the mismatch between what we dreamed of doing back before we donned our white coats and what corporate medicine is like on the ground.

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