Historically, medical curricula have mostly concentrated on disease and treating the illness. We now have an innovative approach that is revolutionizing healthcare education nationwide, particularly in the plastic surgery and aesthetic physician community. Now doctors can receive their required continuing medical education (CE/CME) hours to create physician and staff wellness, which research has proven to improve patient care, enhance communication, and improve mental health.
It is essential for entrepreneurs to understand how this will exponentially grow or silently destroy a business. Aesthetic doctors who are able to detect and redirect the first signs of emotional exhaustion in their business processes have a superior advantage in the marketplace and in their patient care. (With this philosophy in mind, doctors from across the US and Canada gathered in the Tampa Convention Center in October for a unique “Burnout Training” event where we discussed this increasingly popular approach to medical care.)
Emotional exhaustion is ubiquitous. Many aesthetic offices commonly develop burnout incrementally due to escalations of stress, extreme workloads, loss of control, and inefficiencies. Symptoms can show up in the form of cynicism, negative responses, feelings of inadequacy, incompetence, or feeling unappreciated.
Some researchers say healthcare provider burnout can have numerous negative impacts on patient care, including medical errors, longer recovery times, and decreased satisfaction. We have all seen how these effects can progress to include depression, substance abuse, poor self-care, suicidal thoughts, and more. It is a sad fact of life that every day in the United States, a physician takes his or her life. This is preventable and avoidable, if you know the warning signs and how to redirect this challenge.
“Burnout Training” workshops focus on teaching aesthetic providers how to better identify, measure, and influence psychology, emotional literacy, and nonverbal communication skills.
Fostering Physician Well-Being: Getting Started
How do you get started with a burnout prevention strategy? There is a simple tool we use to self-assess. Take 60 seconds to do this yourself, and you can dramatically change the course of your business future.
What is the Smile Score of your team, 1-10 if 10 is the highest?
What we mean by this is that most teams have a mix of high, middle, and low smilers. If you averaged out the team, what would their score be? Be brutally honest if you want the best solution for your challenges. ____
What is the Energy Score of your team, 1-10 if 10 is the highest?
What we mean by this is that most teams have a mix of high, middle, and low energy team members. If you averaged out the team, what would their score be? Again, be honest if you want transparency and the best results. ____
What is the Story Score of your team, 1-10 if 10 is the highest?
We all have a “Story.” What we mean by this is that some team members are very polished and well trained, some are not. Some are so polished, they look like Rockstars, and some need more rehearsal. If we are being honest, how would you rate the story score, or the experience your team creates for the patient, on a scale of 1-10 if you had to put a number on it? Doesn't have to be a perfect number, just a general range. ___
If you averaged out the team, what would their score be? Again, be honest if you want transparency and the best results. Most teams I work with say they score in the 3 to 7 range. It is rare to have a team self assess in the 8, 9, or 10 range across the board.
Why is this so impactful? If your team has 7s across the board, this shows their engagement. One way to consider it is that you have 70 percent of their effort going into their work. We all know 9s and 10s are possible, and that is what we want to see. If we are at 70 percent, then that means when our office is open, we are really closed 30 percent of the time.
Aesthetic Doctor Well-Being: A Powerful Way to Enhance the Patient Experience
Most doctors are often taught to put “patients first,” however, examples from other industries can teach us to modify this notion. In fact, successes in practically every other industry are often attributed to putting your “team first,” which means hiring good people and investing in them and training them properly.
We have demonstrated time and again how “Burnout Training” enhances patient care and improves the quality of life of physicians by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their team.
As leaders, it's essential to recognize burnout in aesthetic physicians and other healthcare workers as a severe problem and respond swiftly, especially if we want to maximize the effectiveness, productivity and profitability of our medical teams.
Because, everything worthwhile starts with a Smile!