ASCO Connection

July 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 67

I love talking to other ASCO mem- bers and learning why they became doctors (and nurs- es, and advanced practice provid- ers, and patient advocates, and practice managers, and statisticians…). Everyone has a story. I know people for whom medicine runs in the family, and are the latest in a long line of physi- cians. I know others who had serious health setbacks when they were young, and were inspired to go into medi- cine by the care they received. I know people who became doctors because they love the intellectual challenge of clinical research, and wanted to make a contribution to our body of knowledge. I know people who became doctors because they felt called to help others, and this was the best way they found. But I don't know anyone who became a doctor because they love paperwork. And yet, increasingly, documentation and reporting are how many of us spend our time. Most of us know this to be true anecdotally, but ASCO's State of Cancer Care in America, 2017 report gives us data: u In a study of 16 practices in four common specialties (not including oncology), 57 physicians spent 27% of their time with patients, versus 49% of their time on electronic health record documentation and desk work. u In another study, 1,000 surveyed practices from common medical specialties spent a total of $15.4 bil- lion and an average of 785 hours per physician annually to meet quality reporting requirements. u A survey of 1,000 physicians found that medical practices complete an average of 37 prior authorization requirements per physician weekly, taking an average of 16 hours of cli- nician time. These burdensome documentation and reporting requirements have encroached on time that we used to spend in vastly more satisfying ways: talking with our patients, conducting research, teaching, writing, learning, mentoring... Perhaps it's unsurprising, then, that a hallmark symptom of pro- fessional burnout is a reduced sense of personal accomplishment. As we try to squeeze more and more responsibilities into the same 24 hours each day, one of our responsibilities must be to take care of ourselves, and to support each other. So we continue our Beat Burnout series in this issue with advice and guidance on how to talk to your program director, supervisor, and colleagues about feelings of stress, fatigue, emotional overload, deperson- alization, and burnout (p. 45). I also encourage you to visit ASCO- to read our Physician Wellness blog, which launched in Janu- ary 2017. In that space, members are sharing candid personal stories about burnout and resilience, representing diverse perspectives across our profes- sion. You'll find an overview of some of the recent posts on p. 47. If you're interested in contributing a post to the blog, contact our editorial staff at It's so important to remember that no matter how you're feeling, you're not alone —especially if your feeling is that you hate paperwork. Linda R. Duska, MD, MPH Editor in Chief Dr. Duska is the associate dean of clinical research and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Since joining ASCO in 1999, she has served on the Scientific Program, Cancer Education, and Public Issues Committees, as a faculty member at ASCO Annual Meetings, and as a blogger for The "C" you find through- out the magazine repre- sents an ASCO project, award, or grant supported by the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncol- ogy; for more information, visit SUPPORTED I 11 FORUM l From the Editor in Chief

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of ASCO Connection - July 2017