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Perspectives on Health and Tech Ep. 116: Dr. Lu de Souza on Combating Physician Burnout and Depression

The health care environment can be demanding, high-stakes and emotionally grueling — placing heavy levels of stress on providers. A survey by Medscape noted that 44 percent of physicians reported feeling burned out and 15 percent experienced either clinical or colloquial depression. It’s apparent the well-being of doctors is a pressing issue in the health care industry today.

As physicians suffer, patient care is also at-risk. A recent Stanford University-led study found that physician burnout may account for even more medical errors than unsafe workplace conditions. Furthermore, 35 percent of physicians report they are easily exasperated with patients because of their depression.

On this episode of Perspectives on Health and Tech, we are joined by Dr. Lu de Souza, senior director and chief medical officer of Cerner’s west division of physician executives. Dr. de Souza answers the following questions:

  • What is burnout and how does it relate to stress and depression?
  • Does technology plays a role in physician burnout?
  • What are some of the large contributors to burnout?
  • What kinds of support systems and programs can health care organizations provide to help burned out physicians? How can organizations be more proactive in preventing it?

  • Can technology be leveraged to increase physician satisfaction on the job?

  • Plastic surgeons, dermatologists, pathologists and ophthalmologists report some of the lowest levels of burnout and highest levels of happiness at work among all physicians. Why is this, and what can the industry learn from these specialties when it comes to reducing the rate of physician burnout?

  • How is physician burnout impacting health care overall? Where is the industry heading as it responds to this epidemic?

Listen to the full podcast below, and click here for previous episodes of Perspectives on Health and Tech.


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