Did you know that many orthopedic surgeons are either leaving their practices or seriously considering it? Wondering why? Orthopedic surgeons chose medicine to help people provide relief from pain and reclaim quality of life. However, they felt that their skillset was obscured by layers of administrative burden, stifling their ability to provide impactful patient care. This is a result of several factors that have eroded their job satisfaction and overall well-being. Let us in this blog post discuss what could be the main factors that cause orthopedic surgeons to quit their practices? Read on to find out if medical scribes can help them reconsider their decision.
The pervasive issue of burnout casts a shadow over orthopedic surgeons, impacting both personal lives and professional efficacy. Startling statistics from the 2023 Medscape Physician Burnout and Depression Report reveal that approximately 45% of orthopedic surgeons experience burnout symptoms. A comparative study highlights an even graver reality, with orthopedic surgeons experiencing burnout at a rate of 50 to 60% compared to general surgeons, whose rates range from 30 to 40%. The impact of burnout extends beyond personal well-being, influencing job satisfaction and the ability to provide optimal patient care.
Long Working Hours and Limited Family Time
Orthopedic surgeons often find themselves with heavy workloads and working extensive hours. The substantial time spent on documentation and paperwork during clinic hours and beyond, leaves them with little time for their families or personal pursuits. This affected their work-life balance, making it challenging to enjoy quality time with loved ones or engage in personal interests. In short, achieving a healthy work-life balance felt like an impossible goal.
Battling Clunky EHRs
Orthopedic surgeons are to a great extent affected by the stress caused by EHRs. In fact, they are the worst-hit among medical specialties. In a striking revelation, 70% of MDs express stress stemming from EHR use, with orthopedic surgeons bearing the brunt of this burden. The frustration associated with EHRs has pushed many orthopedic physicians to contemplate leaving the profession. EHRs are perceived as having more drawbacks than advantages, contributing significantly to burnout and job dissatisfaction.
Administrative and bureaucratic tasks are major contributors to burnout among orthopedic surgeons. On average, orthopedic surgeons spend approximately 14 hours per week on administrative duties. This includes dealing with insurance-related paperwork, ensuring compliance with various government regulations, and much more. The administrative workload often extends late into the night, impacting their overall job satisfaction
According to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2022, only 52% of orthopedic surgeons feel fairly compensated for their work. In the Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2023, 34% of respondents cited insufficient compensation as a contributor to burnout. Addressing compensation concerns and reforming policies in this regard is crucial to recognizing the value of orthopedic surgeons and the vital care they provide.
Impending Orthopedic Surgeon Shortage
The shortage of orthopedic surgeons is a looming crisis. By 2030, it is estimated that the specialty will face a shortage of 5,050 physicians. High burnout rates, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased retirements, and limitations on medical school and residency programs are driving this shortage. Additionally, an aging population will require more orthopedic care, exacerbating the problem. Government reimbursement cuts and declining salary rates further contribute to the impending shortage.
The increasing dissatisfaction among orthopedic surgeons is a cause for concern. However, addressing four out of the five factors that lead them to quit their practice or medicine altogether can be achieved through the use of medical scribes. Orthopedic medical scribes can significantly reduce burnout, alleviate EHR-related stress, improve work-life balance, and lighten the administrative burden. If you’re an orthopedic surgeon facing these challenges, consider reaching out to a reliable medical scribing service provider to get the support you need.