Physician burnout is not just a problem of employee well-being, it’s a problem that affects the bottom line of your healthcare organization. But what if I told you that there’s a way to improve the well-being of your physicians while also boosting your organization’s financial health?

In this article, we’ll explore the hidden costs of physician burnout, the tangible ROI of investing in their wellness, and what to look for in a training to get results. So if you’re ready to improve patient care, reduce medical errors, and increase staff retention, keep reading.


The Hidden Costs of Physician Burnout


When doctors feel like burnt toast, their productivity takes a nosedive, and they’re about as happy as a potted cactus in the desert. The less satisfied they are, the quicker they’ll want to flee your organization. And it’s not just a matter of producing less; they also make more mistakes, which is more expensive than that artisanal coffee you love.

Decreased Productivity

Picture this: One of your physicians is trying to do their job, but as they try to focus on their patients, they struggle to keep their eyes open and their mind on task, contemplating the unfortunate effects of sleep deprivation on their cognitive abilities. That’s what burnout can do to a healthcare team. It’s like trying to run a marathon with lead boots on. Not a pretty picture, right?

But it’s not just about feeling tired or unmotivated. Burnout can also hit healthcare organizations where it hurts – their bottom line. When doctors are burnt out, they’re not as productive as they could be. This translates into longer wait times for patients, longer work hours in an effort to catch up, and a backlog of patient notes – not a recipe for success.

Increased Medical Errors

We all know doctors are human, just like the rest of us. But when they’re burnt out, they start making mistakes that are less “whoopsie daisy” and more “yikes, that could be deadly.” That’s right, medical errors are a serious problem when physicians are feeling the burnout blues.

Normally, when you’re burnt out, your mind starts to wander. But when a doctor’s mind wanders, it can have serious consequences. Imagine Dr. Smith performing a routine surgery when suddenly, she forgets which instrument to use next. Is it the scalpel or the bone saw? Oops, too late! And just like that, she’s sent her patient on an unplanned trip to the morgue.

And let’s not forget the malpractice claims that come with medical errors. Those can be a real pain in the pocketbook for healthcare organizations. Not to mention, the increased liability insurance premiums that can follow. 

High Turnover Rates

If you don’t invest in physician wellness, you’ll be drowning in recruitment and training costs faster than you can say “electronic medical record.” Burnout leads to high turnover rates, which means you’ll be constantly shelling out cash to find new doctors and nurses and train them to your standards. Plus, every time you lose a staff member, you’re losing potential revenue. 

If that weren’t enough, consider how high turnover rates can disrupt patient care. Your patients will never know who their doctor is and this reflects poorly on your organization. 

High turnover rates: Burnout leads to high turnover rates, which result in increased recruitment and training costs for healthcare organizations.

Patient Dissatisfaction

Think back to a time when you were at a restaurant, eagerly waiting for your meal. You’re hungry, your stomach is growling, and your mouth is watering. But when your dish arrives, it’s cold, undercooked, and doesn’t resemble anything you ordered. Frustrated and disappointed, you vow never to come back to that restaurant again.

Now imagine if that was your experience every time you visited a healthcare facility. Patients rely on healthcare providers for their health and well-being, and when they receive subpar care due to physician burnout or staff shortage due to turnover, their dissatisfaction can spread like wildfire. Word of mouth travels fast, and negative reviews can tarnish the reputation of your healthcare organization, leading to a decrease in patient volume and revenue.

So if you want to avoid a Yelp-worthy disaster, it’s essential to address the issue of physician burnout and prioritize the well-being of your healthcare team. 


The ROI of Investing in Wellness Programs for Your Medical Staff


Yes, the cost of physician burnout is astronomical, but investing in wellness programs is also CO$TLY, right? Let’s break this down.

Improved physician well-being

When physicians participate in wellness trainings, they learn how to manage stress, improve work-life balance, and build resilience. This translates to happiness at work. Happy employees equals loyal employees. 

Increased Productivity

By investing in wellness programs for your medical staff, you can improve productivity and increase work efficiency. How? By promoting wellness and preventing burnout, your team can stay more focused and driven, ultimately accomplishing more in less time.

Reduce Medical Errors

One of the reasons physicians burn out is because the demands on them is high and the resources are low. When physicians participate in wellness trainings, they learn how to think differently so they are less affected by stress. Consequently, they get burned out less and their performance improves, reducing their overall medical errors. This leads to reduced liability insurance premiums and malpractice claims, which can save your healthcare organization a boatload of cash. 

Reduced Turnover Rates

Another benefit of investing in wellness training for your medical staff is lowered turnover. When physicians are happy and engaged, they’re more likely to stick around. Not only will you promote a positive and healthy work environment; you’ll be able to retain your top talent, reducing the need to spend resources on constantly training new staff. 

Increased Patient Satisfaction

When your workforce is happy, they stick around, which is not only good for business, it ensures continuity of care for patients. This results in more satisfied customers, better patient outcomes, and a great reputation for your organizations. 


Physician Wellness Programs: What to Expect


By this point, you’re probably aware of the benefits that come with investing in your employees’ well-being to prevent burnout and its associated costs, while improving your organization’s profitability. If you’re a healthcare provider considering investing in your physicians’ wellness, you may be curious about what this would entail. What exactly can you expect from wellness programs, and how do they work?

I’ll present several options, ranging from low to high budget, and as you increase your investment, the greater the impact it can have. The decision to choose the right option for your organization will depend on the level of commitment and urgency in addressing this issue.

Half-Day Seminar

Burnout isn’t something that can be solved in an hour, so ideally, you put together a program that has some continuity. That said, something is better than nothing. 

You can start with a half-day seminar on burnout prevention and stress management. This is a great way to introduce the topic to your team and provide them with practical tools to identify and manage burnout. 

Ongoing Workshops

If you’re able to provide your staff with more ongoing opportunities for learning, go for the ongoing workshop option, which gives them a more in-depth exploration of burnout prevention and related topics. 

Leadership Coaching

A more targeted approach is providing group coaching for your top leaders. By investing in their well-being, you can help them mitigate burnout and set a positive example for the rest of your team. 

I’ve coached enough senior leaders and physicians to see the impact it has, not only on them directly, but on their staff and even their families. The more self-awareness they develop, the better they can manage their own stress, lead others, and create a positive work culture.

Regardless of which option you choose or which provider you go with, some of the topics you will want to target include: 

  • Self-awareness 
  • Root cause analysis
  • Building resilience 
  • Work-life balance
  • Communication skills
  • Team building
  • Productivity training

Work with a professional who is able to customize the material to your organization’s specific needs, who understands your team’s pain points, and has the expertise and credentials to transform your organization’s wellbeing. 




It’s no secret that physician burnout can have a significant impact on healthcare organizations. Not only does it result in financial losses, but it also affects patient care. However, there is a solution – wellness training for your medical staff. By investing in wellness programs, you can improve physician well-being, increase productivity, reduce medical errors, lower turnover rates, and ultimately increase patient satisfaction.

As a wise psychologist once said, “A happy physician is a better physician.” Okay, maybe I just said that, but it’s true! Investing in wellness programs for your medical staff is a no-brainer when it comes to improving the bottom line of healthcare organizations.


Want me to speak to your organization about managing stress? Check out my keynote, “Make Stress Your Superpower.”


Do you want to get my Burnout Checklist for free?

I’ve created a checklist to help you identify signs of burnout and steps to take to get immediate results. Curious?

Click here to get the checklist.


Dr. Sharon Grossman, AKA the Burnout Doc, is a clinically trained psychologist and subject matter expert in burnout and mental health. Associations and Fortune 500 companies hire her to be their closing keynote speaker, to help their members and executives crack the code on burnout, and create custom-tailored solutions for recovery.
Over the past 20 years, Dr. Sharon has been helping high achievers who are struggling with anxiety, overwhelm, and burnout go from exhausted to extraordinary by better understanding how their brain works and how they can design and run their programming on purpose to live the kind of life they want to live. She is the author of several books on burnout and mindset and host of the Decode Your Burnout podcast. Through her speaking, training, and coaching, she helps organizations keep their top talent.