The 21st Century Doctor

Fellowship Paper - September 30, 2020

Business Strategy

Staci Thompson FACMPE
PROJECT SUMMARY

This paper ties to the following body of knowledge: Human Resource Management and Patient-Centered Care

A recent Google search of the term “physician burnout” produces more than 7 million links. At this organization, a rural multispecialty group comprised of over 500 providers, provider engagement surveys show that that these providers may not be at the actual point of burnout, but they are clearly dissatisfied with aspects of their jobs. As patients have become more complex and empowered in their own care, the work itself has changed, with increased mandates for documentation, achievement of quality metrics, in the background of ever shrinking margins. In 2018, several key leaders from this organization attended an AMGA (American Medical Group Association) national meeting, where one of the keystone speakers, Dr. Abraham Verghese, professor of medicine at Stanford, and a best-selling author, gave a talk entitled, “Physician Burnout”. He discussed a 19th Century painting, “The Doctor”, and how it effectively conveys what is at the heart of the medical profession: the healing power of the doctor-patient relationship, of human touch and connection. Leaders from this organization have since realized that this organization owns the only known original study of this painting, donated in 1944 by a local philanthropist. This painting has not been on public display and was largely forgotten over the last couple of decades.

Initially, the goal was to simply preserve the painting and display this in line with the donor’s wishes, however, as leaders began discussing this with physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses and administrators alike, it was realized that this gift can serve as a unique cornerstone to talk about these difficult challenges providers face in our organization. It is this author’s hypothesis (purpose of this paper) that by utilizing art in medicine, particularly The Doctor painting, that a conversation can begin, and these discussions can be used to re-engage providers in a way that has not been done in the past, thus improving overall provider engagement.

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About the Author

Staci Thompson
Staci Thompson FACMPE
Executive Vice President Guthrie Health Sayre, PA
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