Physician Health

The top 5 stories physicians should read

Kevin B. O'Reilly , Senior News Editor

Medicine is always a balancing act, and this year’s best-read stories for physicians hit on that perennial theme. Whether weighing doctors’ home and working lives or pain control and the risk of abuse, these articles caught the attention of physician readers.

How physician burnout compares to general working population. Over three years, physicians reported a nearly 9 percent increase in burnout rates. But how does physician burnout compare to that of the general working population? A national study provided insights.

4 physician-recommended steps to work- and home-life balance. Physicians often strive for “work-life balance,” but how do you define it? Getting the time you need may require a different approach. One physician and wellness expert recommends these four self-driven solutions to help you redefine balance and maintain a successful home and work life.

A call to action: Physicians must turn the tide of the opioid epidemic. In February, AMA Immediate Past President Steven J. Stack, MD, declared that “a defining moment” faced the nation’s doctors. “Over the past 15 years,” he wrote, “the nation’s opioid epidemic has claimed more than 250,000 lives, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the last year alone, we lost nearly 30,000 friends, neighbors, children and spouses. Those numbers are alarming—and they require swift intervention.”

What physicians are saying about the new CDC opioid guidelines. Officials at the CDC released clinical guidelines for prescribing opioids to help combat the nation’s overdose epidemic, and physicians were swift to respond. Physicians embraced the concepts for reducing harm but simultaneously pointed out serious shortcomings that to be addressed.

Cancer medical home model cuts costs, improves care. When Larry, an 84-year-old retired physics professor, learned he had metastatic pancreatic cancer, he made his wishes known to his oncologist, Barbara McAneny, MD: He wanted to live one more year, and he didn’t want to die in a hospital. On a morning soon after, Larry’s family found him suddenly very sick and confused. But instead of calling 911 or taking Larry to the emergency room, they called Dr. McAneny’s practice, the New Mexico Cancer Center in Albuquerque.