Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

BeTheTalk with Nathan Eckel

Nov 29, 2019

Why Nathan Doesn’t Talk About Physician BurnOut Anymore]


If you would rather skim and scan before you listen, I have created some short off-the-cuff notes for your convenience.

Want more info? Go to for more resources.

To access Nathan’s physician-specific interview content on KindleUnlimited go to Nathan’s Amazon Author page here:




What do you want the most in your life?


Why don’t you talk about Burnout (BO) anymore Nathan?

  • You’re a son
  • You’re a spouse
  • You’ve seen this your whole life


Why don’t you care about this?!?


I DO care! 


I’ve created resources

I’ve interviewed MD authors who wrote books on MD BO.


So why don’t you talk about it anymore?


The F word - NOT that one


“Where Focus goes energy flows”


I struggle with a half-empty view of life - and I need to willfully change my focus


I suggest you might also need to.


If you want to focus on more burnout, there are a bunch of great podcasts on burnout.


I realized - I DONT want to do a burnout podcast.


I don’t want to focus on that.


What DO you want to talk about?


The challenges of Medicine

The data

The end result of the root causes of unsustainability in healthcare = BO


We’ve all had jobs (including your job) where margin is cut, the pressure is growing, the good colleagues are quitting or leaving or moving or transferring, and we have to pick up the slack


How do we fix the unsustainable rotting core of the onion?


Remember Samurai Belushi from SNL in the 70s?


The core is like a rotten onion - I don’t want to peel each layer anymore.


The root = lack of predictable reimbursements.


This makes EVERYTHING unpredictable


That hospital that just shut down abruptly outside Philadelphia


Gruesome tale - King Solomon, the women, the baby and the sword.


This is where we are at in healthcare - it is unsustainable and if something does not give, the hospital dies from the bleeding.


HCAHPS “reviews” - what if patient thinks you’re a Motel 6 experience?


Meanwhile you have your head down trying to serve your list and the individual patients one by one.


On the micro level yes you are doing your job


On the macro level - if hospital is bleeding reimbursements, your job is at risk


I successfully avoid harping on the VA Governor who got into some well deserved controversy


Can we get rid of medical taboos (not related to the awful VA gov situation!)


Where do you want to go?


The wheel of life


Your health

Your finances

Your relationships

Your goals

Your personal time

Your legacy


What do you want?


Awkward silence for you to think about it.


If you could change ONE thing about your team if you had more margin, what would it be?


Listen again and fill in the blanks


What’s your point Nathan?


Space - Silence = margin


We need margin to solve our problems and challenges


Data Points from the Medscape Physician Survey 2018


% of time spent on paperwork and admin

% of time on patients


Physicians’ advice to other physicians for staying on schedule:


I don’t answer this because they are ridiculous, like:

1. “make sure your office doesn’t overbook you”

(easy when we elect a politician who adds millions of patients to your workload)


Why I don’t care whether you believe healthcare is a right or privilege

(hint - you paid the price to care for people)


2. “Take Fewer Breaks (if you currently take any breaks)”


What my dad told me that SHOCKED me about the right to go to the bathroom on demand.


You want to talk privilege vs human rights?


I personally believe that physicians should have the human right to be able to take a bathroom break whenever Nature calls, without shame or blowback.


More about the resources

I’ve interviewed Drs. Ruthann Russo, Christopher Burton, Naim El Aswad on their respective burnout books.


You can access the edited transcripts of my interviews FREE on Kindle Unlimited ($9.99/mo) or for $17.99.


All the authors reject the way admin and the “experts” expert-splain to MDs to be “mindful” or do yoga etc… they point to the systemic nature of this and the gaslighting MDs get.


Any job where the pressure is growing, where things are unsustainable, where things are sloping downward, burnout will be inevitable.


And the more we focus on that, the more burnout we will have to fight.


Unsustainable reimbursements is robbing Peter to pay Paul.  We are all outraged by lack of transparent pricing, because we all have grandmothers who lost their savings because of an ambulance ride, or some similar awful story.


It’s unacceptable. 


You know what else is unacceptable? 


Going after symptoms, instead of the root problem

Demonizing the people who are trying to make a bleeding system work another day for fewer people as best they can

Whistleblowing and authoring books that don’t even have the word “reimbursement” or HCAHPS in the index.


I want to draw attention to the root cause.

I want to turn things around - slowly, progressively, partially if necessary.



Did any of this resonate with you?


Would you please SHARE, APPLY and INVITE others to join us?