Helping members optimize their well-being and professional satisfaction has been a priority for the American Academy of Family Physicians since 2014 when we developed a position paper on the issue.
Importantly, the AAFP recognizes that physician burnout is NOT the physician’s fault. It is, instead, a reflection of the health care system that imposes administrative demands and burdens that are the root cause of physician burnout.
The AAFP continues to fight for legislative and regulatory policies that will ease and/or end these burdens. These efforts include ending unnecessary prior authorizations, and harmonizing quality measures, and reducing documentation requirements as well as increasing the percentage of health care dollars spent on primary care.
In 2018, the AAFP launched an initiative to improve physician well-being. Physician Health First is a portal where members can access resources, assess their burnout with the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) study and plan and track their path to well-being.
In addition, the second-annual Family Physician Health and Well-being Conference is an opportunity for physicians to connect in-person with thought leaders, peers and wellness resources.
The AAFP continues efforts calling for an immediate reduction in the regulatory and administrative requirements family physicians and practices must comply with on a daily basis.These burdens range from onerous documentation guidelines to cumbersome prior authorization criteria and the unrelenting frustrations associated with electronic health records.
A 2016 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that during a typical day, primary care physicians would spend 27 percent of their time on clinical activities and 49 percent on administrative activities. The authors of the study, “Allocation of Physician Time in Ambulatory Practice: A Time and Motion Study in 4 Specialties,” concluded that for every hour primary care physicians spends in direct patient care, they spend two hours engaged in administrative functions.
For more resources and information on how the AAFP fights administrative burden, click here.