According to research highlighted by the American Medical Association, doctors are leaving or planning to leave their jobs at alarming rates. You may be one of them.
You may love the work you do. The idea of abandoning your colleagues and patients or leaving a career you’ve worked so hard to build may be a struggle. But you may also be completely burned out or feel that there’s no other way to achieve the balance you need in your life.
There is a solution to this dilemma. It’s called the Surgicalist Model. It’s helping surgeons live their best lives right now, while allowing them to do the clinical work they’ve dedicated their lives to.
Burnout is an Old Problem. Innovative Staffing Model Brings Balance to Entire ORs.
Even before the pandemic, experts were predicting a shortage of physicians due to burnout, pointing to an alarming physician suicide rate much higher than the general public’s, even exceeding combat veterans. For many qualified, experienced doctors, balancing the administrative burdens of running a practice along with on-call duties is unsustainable long-term.
Like other industries, the expectations of our medical workforce have changed. After putting their lives on the line every day, many doctors feel that the only way to gain control and have a personal life is to leave their jobs. Some have joined what is called the Great Resignation.
But what if there were an option that helped doctors live their best lives now—allowing them to be productive in their clinical career while enjoying predictable time off?
There’s been a lot of talk over the years about how hospitals need to create a “better culture” in order to retain physician talent and prevent staff burnout. While you may enjoy gym memberships and free pizza, what you really crave on the “culture” front is transparency, competitive pay, and set work hours.
Enter the surgicalist model, which is now being embraced by a growing number of doctors and hospitals nationwide.
How the Surgicalist Model Works
The Surgicalist Model was evolved by orthopedic surgeon visionaries Rand Schleusner, MD, and John D. Campbell, MD, who wanted to find a solution to the on-call conundrum. Surgicalists are doctors who function as part of a clinical team, all of whom are assigned coordinated shifts covering emergency department on-call needs, or who support a full surgical program for emergent, elective, and inpatient consult needs. Unlike temporary locums physicians, surgicalists are dedicated to their hospital facility, serve on committees, engage with the community at large and work side-by-side with the hospital’s other medical staff physicians and employees as a true team member.
This specialized model gives the surgicalist the flexibility to work seven to ten consecutive days per month, allowing for predictable blocks of time off. It also lets the private practice surgeons they are supporting care for their patients with limited or no emergency department on-call responsibilities. Both the private practice physician and the surgicalist get to do the type of work they want while achieving greater work-life balance.
The Impact of the Surgicalist Model on Work-life Balance
Dr. Thomas Macha, an orthopedic surgeon, is just one of the many physicians enjoying the benefits of this model. After 28 years in private practice, Dr. Macha longed for opportunities that would allow him to travel with his family. After joining Synergy Health Partners as a surgicalist doctor, he finally gained this freedom.
Says Dr. Macha: “When I am off, I am truly off—no office responsibilities, no patient calls, and the confidence that the patients I have taken care of continue to receive quality care from my Synergy Health Partners colleagues. I also continue to be challenged with my work and find that the skills I have acquired over 28 years are being put to good use.”
The surgicalist model is a transformational staffing and management model that works well for the growing number of doctors who want to balance quality of life with quantity of work. Surgicalists bring major benefits to hospitals, as well. The surgicalist model has been proven to increase patient throughput, as well as decrease patient wait times, increase elective surgeries, curb outmigration, and decrease unnecessary readmissions.
Start your journey to living your best life by learning more about the benefits, schedule a personalized discussion now.