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Comment & Response
Physician Work Environment and Well-Being
February 2020

Address Physician Burnout By Restoring Control of Health Care to Physicians—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  • 2Stanford University, Palo Alto, California
JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(2):334-335. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.6004

In Reply We appreciate the comments from Brock-Utne and Jaffe regarding our recently published study.1 However, we disagree with the interpretation that are our results imply that physician burnout is being blamed on the personal failure of physicians that can be remedied by coaching. Mitigating the risk of burnout and helping those experiencing burnout recover requires all hands on deck. We agree with Brock-Utne and Jaffe that burnout reflects a systemic problem within medicine, but there is no simple or single solution.2 Effective change is a shared responsibility among individual physicians, local and organizational leaders, the house of medicine, policy makers, insurance companies, academic medical centers, and health care technology companies. Professional coaching provides 1 potential avenue for physicians to gain skills and insight into how to lean in and influence change and more effectively address elements under their control, rather than be victims.

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