The Physicians 4 Day Work Week

The Physicians 4 Day Work Week  By Dr. Latisha Rowe MD MBAvirtualphyscicianssummit_2016_eflyer_b

A typical physician spends a minimum of 11 years in higher education learning the skills necessary to diagnose and treat everything from simple to complex medical problems. Most people think Medical school and residency are the hard part but the truth is it doesn’t get much easier after that. If a physician dares to venture into private practice they may spend 60 hours in the clinic and once the patients are all gone the work has really just begun. There are notes to be completed, charts to be reviewed, prescriptions to be refilled, FMLA paper work, disability paperwork, prior authorizations and patient phone calls and emails to be returned. In fact, for a physician in Private Practice, really the job never ends. I remember last year on “vacation” in Paris sitting on the roof of a tour bus speaking to a radiologist about my patients results. When you choose to be independent you are ALWAYS on call. For this reason, many physicians have abandoned private practice to work for large medical groups. Unfortunately, these same physicians face the same administrative burdens in those settings and they have less control over their time. Some large health entities book patients every 10 minutes leaving the physician to meet an unrealistic expectation from patients wanting a doctor to listen, analyze and explain their issues. Physicians are left feeling burned out, overwhelmed and disheartened. The problem is worsened by the fact that even after decades in practice most doctors are still working 8-10 hours, 5 days a week. Imagine spending your entire 20’s in a rigorous education program, your 30’s being mentally “dragged” through residency working nonstop, then coming out to this. It is no wonder 1 million patients a year lose their doctor to suicide. This has to stop and it stops with physicians taking control of our careers, our practices and our lives. It starts with disrupting healthcare by taking more time for ourselves. Dentists work 4 days a week, why can’t we? If you are a physician thinking there is no way I can survive on 4 days a week think again. If you incorporate telemedicine into your practice you could easily add an additional $10,000 to your practice per month. Working for a telemedicine company will never get you that return on your investment but doing it yourself with your patients will. Understanding the business of medicine and realizing how uniformed and unaware my colleagues are, is EXACTLY why it is important to me to teach physicians about the business opportunity available through digital health. There is a better way; come to the Virtual Physicians Summit and learn how YOU can finally have your 4 day work week.

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