Compensation Could Conquer Clinician Burnout

January 2020 might be just the time to ask for a raise in salary, or give yourself and your partners an increase in compensation. Believe it or not, research shows increased compensation for physicians and doctors reduces financial stress, which is one of the factors that contributes to clinician burnout.

Whether you are a sole practitioner, provider partner, or leader in a large healthcare group, most medical specialties are affected by high burnout rates. Known contributors are work-life imbalance, decreased autonomy, administrative over-burden, and poor organizational structure. But because discussions of money are often taboo amongst physicians, researchers are now focusing on the financial stress caused by physician finances and compensation issues.

A recent KevinMD article on physician finances found no standardized tools for measurement of physician compensation, no benchmarks, or evidence for correlation with particular outcomes, illustrating just how little is known about the role of compensation (or lack of it) and financial stress in burnout.

It would seem obvious that significant debt creates worry – it would for any individual – and that additional compensation would reduce that worry for physicians, doctors, dentists, and other healthcare providers. It has been suggested that if doctors are choosing higher paying specialties not because of an interest or passion, but instead to reduce debt more quickly, they will suffer burnout more quickly despite higher salaries as they are professionally unfulfilled.

Other financial factors that contribute to burnout are wage inequity due to racial bias or the female “gender pay gap.” Productivity bonuses are not as comforting or impactful as a raise or merit increase, probably because they are seen as a financial incentive for additional work, and psychologically does not show appreciation as it is tied to increased workload.

Will higher salaries reduce burnout? Not in all cases, but failing to address financial concerns of physicians, debt and stressors may limit the ability of other burnout solutions to have much effect.

CONTACT US: Compensation models for physicians continue to evolve. Getting both your personal and practice finances on track to meet your financial goals should be part of every healthcare provider’s comprehensive strategy for health and wellness. Let the tax and accounting professionals at Fuoco Group and TFG Health Services help you explore your options for revenue enhancement, identify the income opportunities ahead, and secure the financial solutions that you will ultimately profit from. Call for a consultation toll free: 855-534-2727.

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