I really enjoyed today's interview addressing the causes of physician burnout and its remedies. I knew I was talking with someone with very deep knowledge of the subject matter.

causes of burn out be advised

Photo by Maria Freyenbacher on Unsplash

But, before I tell you about the interview, let me remind you about a new “how-to-guide” I’ve written called 5 Nonclinical Careers You Can Pursue Today. It’s a 24-page manual, complete with checklists for each career. It outlines the steps you can take to pursue a career in utilization management, clinical documentation improvement, informatics, medical writing and hospital management.

I wrote it based on my personal experiences, and what I’ve learned interviewing experts for this podcast. To download your copy, just go to vitalpe.net/freeguide.

The Coach Describes 5 Root Causes of Physician Burnout

For today’s episode, I had the pleasure of talking with Dike Drummond. Dike is a Mayo trained Family Physician, burnout survivor, executive coach and founder of TheHappyMD.com. He has over 17,000 physician subscribers in 63 countries around the world. He’s a successful coach, educator and consultant.

He teaches simple methods to lower stress, build more life balance and prevent burnout. He developed these tools during his 2100 hours of one-on-one physician coaching, and while training 25,000 physicians for more than 70 corporate clients.

To me he’s an icon. He’s developed a deep understanding of burnout, and its remedies. I’ve known of him for many years, because he’s had such a strong online presence.

He started his physician coaching business 18 years ago. And his website, The Happy MD, has been read by tens of thousands of visitors and followers. He's written several books, including Stop Physician Burnout: What to Do When Working Harder Isn't Working.

He lays a lot of really great advice on us. And he's very honest about the state of medical education and of medical practice, particularly as it relates to the employment of young physicians by hospital-based systems.


We discussed these topics during our conversation:

1. The scope of his activities beyond publishing The Happy MD blog and website;
2. How the Quadruple Aim is not being realized;
3. His definition of burnout;
4. How his coaching has helped thousands of physicians salvage their clinical careers;
5. Five root causes of physician burnout;
6. Three burnout myths;
7. The first steps to take to eliminate burnout.

Dike provided really good information, as well as hope and encouragement. He tells us that after successfully completing his coaching process, 70% of his clients continue in their current job, having made the necessary changes to transform it.

The majority of the other 30% change jobs, but remain in clinical medicine. Only a very small number chose to pursue a nonclinical career.

My Thoughts on Burnout and Career Transition

I'm fully supportive of pursuing a nonclinical career, if that's what's right for you. This is especially true if you want to build on your medical background to achieve a higher level of fulfilment in this aspect of your life.

And I'm here to help provide support and advice for doing that.

But without addressing burnout's root causes, you may find yourself disappointed with your new career. The dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors contributing to your burnout may continue to haunt you.

To avoid that, I encourage you to take advantage of the free advice at The Happy MD. And consider coaching from Dike or a member of his physician coaching team.

In Closing

I really hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to hear more from Dike in a future episode.

And don’t forget, I’ve completed a Free Guide called 5 Nonclinical Careers You Can Pursue Today that outlines the steps for 5 more highly popular careers. You can find it at vitalpe.net/freeguide.

Let’s end with this quote from our interview today:

drummond quote causes of physician burnout

Next week I’ll be presenting a conversation with pediatrician, entrepreneur and digital health innovator Sylvia Romm.

I hope you’ll join me next time on Physician NonClinical Careers.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on the Apple Podcast App and sign up for my newsletter so you don't miss it, using the form below.

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