You Should Talk to Doctors Who Want To Talk To You

No one wants to be cared for by a doctor who's burnt out. Here's what all of us can do about it.

From the earliest days of my medical training, I remember seeing two camps of doctors: doctors hating medicine and doctors loving medicine.

The doctors who hated medicine grumbled about their paperwork, their salary, their patients’ stupid questions, their fear of getting sued. They said they wished they could retire, yet kept coming to work, resentful of the dissonance in their choices.

The doctors who loved medicine laughed with their patients and held their hands. They got excited about researching unusual cases and went the extra mile to track down answers. Even when faced with BS, they were indomitable with a steely sense of purpose.

I paid a lot of attention to the doctors who loved their jobs and tried to figure out what was different about them. I was especially interested in the doctors who remembered hating their jobs and had found a way for that to change.

What I learned was, there was no magical workplace free of derailing tasks for doctors. The key was how much fake work, relative to real work.

Medicine is intrinsically hard and sometimes futile, and we can all feel burnt out by it. But no one deserves to be seen by a burnt out doctor. Doctors just aren’t doing their best work when they don’t love what they do, and their work is too important to not do well.

We have to cut down on time-wasting nonsense doctors engage in: and we can. We have to increase the amount of fulfilling patient care doctors get to do: and we totally can do that, too.

Things as simple as more time to focus on a specific disease of interest or patient population that they love to serve, or getting fewer no-shows or bad referrals, can make all the difference. Empowerment works wonders. At Carte Clinics, we’ve started to crack that nut.

We match patients to doctors who would love to see them. We do this as seasoned physicians ourselves, who take the time to deeply understand our patients and their needs. At Carte Clinics we can combine clinical 1-on-1 insight with data-at-scale insights. We equip doctors with what they need to do a good job: time and a network of support.

All of us are patients trying to protect our health in a complex world. We need our medical system to do a lot more for us: navigating pharmacology, genomics, apps, scans, monitors, and blood tests. Doctors need better technology and multidisciplinary support to meet the challenge.

The practice of the future will be organized differently. Doctors will have enough time to get to know you, consult LLMs and dig into the data, and collaborate with experts. See what it feels like at Carte Clinics to get a personal team of physicians doing just that. Get doctors who get it.

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