Burnout is prevalent. Most of you reading this are burned out. What can we do? How can we preserve our sanity? We sat down with hospital administrator Jason Wilcox in his beautiful office overlooking Central Park in Manhattan, full of ornate furniture made of gold and the bones of perished health care providers. He has several years of administrative experience and, more importantly, not a single iota of knowledge when it comes to the practice of medicine. Here is his advice to health care providers across the country suffering from burnout.
Take a pay cut.
“Money doesn’t buy happiness,” says Wilcox, as he looks out his window with a bird’s-eye view grinning from ear-to-ear. “If you’re burned out, ask for a pay cut. Or better, ask to work for free. If you’re unhappy with a paycheck, remove the stress of it and pay attention to what matters in life: hospital reimbursement and Press Ganey scores.”
See more patients.
Wilcox says that most providers don’t realize that their unhappiness is due to not seeing enough patients. It may seem like they are unhappy due to the work load when in reality having a census of 75 patients is when you have a true epiphany and realize, “You know what? I’m truly happy with my job. Gee, those administrators really get it!” Wilcox added: “If I can manage a thousand hospital administrators, surely you guys can manage a few patients here and there.”
Seek help on your time off; you’re here to work.
“I always hear that our providers may do better if they had someone to talk to or even a shoulder to cry on,” started Wilcox. He let’s out a loud and massive yawn. “That’s great but… do it on your own time. I’m paying you to work. Suck it up and work. None of your unfounded complaints. You don’t see me complaining, do you?” Wilcox is polishing his pen. It is quite shiny.
Eat fruits and vegetables.
“I’m no doctor,” Wilcox admits while putting the “loser” hand gesture on his forehead. “But if fruits and vegetables can cure cancer, I’m sure it can cure burnout in our ranks. Eat some kale and get back to work already, sheesh!”
Patients aren’t that complicated.
“What’s all this nonsense about the baby-boomer generation and patients becoming more complex as they live and cope with chronic conditions longer?” muses Wilcox while putting one-hundred-dollar bills in the shredder for fun. “It all comes back to fruits and vegetables. Give them fruit and get them out in less than 24 hours. It’s just that simple!”
It’s called a patient satisfaction survey, not a provider satisfaction survey.
“Let’s say I truly cared what I thought about our providers, which I don’t, I would have created surveys for them.” Wilcox truly believes that if patients are happy, then providers will be happy. It’s hard to argue this point when Wilcox supports the claim by citing no available evidence whatsoever. “All the evidence I ever need is anecdotal,” he adds.
Shine my shoes.
“My shoes need shining before my next meeting about meetings,” comments Wilcox. “If you’re unhappy, come talk to me while shining my shoes so I can tower above you with my superiority complex and tell you why you don’t actually have burnout. What do you know anyway? You’re just in the trenches. Whereas I have this beautiful bird’s-eye view.”
Realize we can actually treat you worse than this.
Wilcox points out that as “bad” as things might be currently for health care providers, he believes that “we haven’t even begun to administrate the hell out of medicine and all you guys. Wait until we hit the Golden Age of Administration.” Until then, quit your whining already.
At the end of this interview, Dr. 99 proceeded to do what was the logical next step: he kicked Wilcox in the balls. Repeatedly.