Doctors leaving medicine spells trouble for health care. And there’s real reason for concern. A few weeks ago, the Mayo Clinic released its most recent study on physician burnout, revealing the highest rate in the survey’s 10-year history. Sixty-three percent of responding physicians reported one or more characteristics of burnout, with many noting depersonalization, an inability to maintain a work-life balance, and career dissatisfaction. The Mayo story was significant enough to be picked up by The New York Times. This worrisome trend creates a real quandary for Value-Based Care and adoption of Alternative Payment Models (APMs), since their success or failure hinges on physician engagement to transform health care.
Paradoxically, the biggest migration of physicians—often to corporate medicine—occurred in 2021. Physicians who were disillusioned over volume goals left private practices and health systems, in favor of employment in environments that appeared more financially- and technology-supportive, and that were aligned with physician goals. Those goals, it turns out, often blend well with Value-Based Care’s emphasis on care coordination and population health—taking pressure off physicians and still providing better care to patients.