Building a Sustainable Primary Care Workforce: Where Do We Go from Here?

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Abstract

The article by Puffer et al in this month'sJABFMconfirms a high burnout rate (25%) among family physicians renewing their credentials, with a higher rate among young and female doctors. Recent reports confirm high burnout rates among general internists. Thus, mechanisms to monitor and improve worklife in primary care are urgently needed. We describe the Mini Z (for “zero burnout program”) measure, designed for these purposes, and suggest interventions that might improve satisfaction and sustainability in primary care, including longer visits, clinician control of work schedules, scribe support for electronic medical record work, team-based care, and an explicit emphasis on work-home balance.

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