How Physicians Can Better Manage Change in Today’s Healthcare Environment

How Physicians Can Better Manage Change in Today’s Healthcare Environment

Let’s face it, change is hard. For everyone. And when you are inundated with change after change after change without any time to process, it can take a heavy toll on your emotional well-being. In fact, a June 2014 article in the Harvard Business Review stated:


“…many physicians are deeply anxious about the changes under way and are mourning real or anticipated losses of autonomy, respect, and income. They are being told that they must accept new organizational structures, ways of working, payment models, and performance goals. They struggle to care for the endless stream of patients who want to be seen, but they constantly hear that much of what they do is a waste. They’re moving at various rates through the stages of grief: A few are still in denial, but many are in the second stage—anger.”


So, how can physicians lessen this anger and decrease their frustration with this constantly-evolving healthcare environment? After speaking with hundreds of physicians, below are Jordan Search Consultants’ top four suggestions.


  • Focus on the Outcome: Having a bad day? Has a new administrative mandate been announced? Take a deep breath, understand that change is inevitable, and focus on the reasons for the change. How will the change that is upsetting you presently impact patient outcomes in the future? Focus on the positive aspects of the change—the end result for your patients and colleagues—in order to better accept this enormous healthcare evolution.
  • Get Educated: Understanding the “why” behind all of the healthcare reforms is essential to processing them. The more you know, the more you can see the reasoning behind decisions that might have seemed rash or inconvenient within the scope of your professional environment.
  • Dive into Data: Ask to see the data after the decisions are put into effect. Witnessing the analytics—the positive, impactful results of a change that you may have perceived as frustrating—can be especially helpful.
  • Disengage Daily: Whether it be family, friends, or a hobby, find personal fulfillment outside of the office on a daily basis. This balance will help make the onslaught of changes more manageable, and lend some perspective.


We can’t stop the changes our healthcare system requires. Unfortunately, though, this means physicians are caught dealing with administrative, patient care, personnel, and reimbursement adjustments all at once. In order to better cope, adopt a positive, forward-thinking perspective. Through comprehensive understanding of the healthcare evolution, a balanced approach, and a focus on how the changes will positively impact patient care and population health, physicians can embrace this inevitable change with less frustration and stress.


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