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Strategies to Combat Physician Burnout in Your Organization

A financial wellness plan can help your organization combat burnout while attracting and retaining physicians. Read on for strategies to consider.
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Healthcare entities can improve their ability to attract and retain highly qualified and experienced physicians by combating physician burnout with a financial wellness strategy. Each entity should customize and implement their own set of opportunities to best support their physicians. Critical steps to consider for financial wellness within your organization include: providing financial literacy education, strategizing lasting retirement planning solutions, seeking tax-efficient benefits, and connecting your physicians with a wealth management advisor who understands physicians and has a service platform designed specifically to meet a physician family's unique needs. Implementing the strategies appropriate for your specific organization can help you combat burnout while attracting and retaining physicians.

Consider these ideas for discussion within your organization:

Provide financial literacy education.

  • Provide educational presentations targeted at specific career stages for physicians. Each stage of a physician’s career has different needs and solutions.
  • Host a financial education dinner for third- and/or fourth-year medical residents to help chart a sound course to make smart spending decisions and build a plan before receiving their first attending paycheck.
  • Provide on-site topical financial education workshops. 
  • Connect with an advisor specializing in physician wealth management services.
  • Pay for a financial plan that balances today’s lifestyle needs while planning for their future and incorporating debt management, college funding, guidance for establishing their estate plans and asset protection, and evaluating insurance needs.

Strategize lasting retirement planning solutions.

  • Consider providing employer-based plans with tax-efficient benefits for your employees.
  • Schedule time to allow physicians to attend informational sessions about their retirement plan options.
  • Plans to consider: 401(k) and 403(b) plans with Roth options, cash balance plans, and health savings accounts for high-deductible health insurance plans.
  • Self-directed brokerage investment options within the plans for additional flexibility and personal choice.
  • Employer profit-sharing or matching contributions.

Consider thinking outside of the typical retirement benefits.

  • Allow physicians to invest in capital projects or medical real estate.
  • Consider continuing to provide health insurance to employees as they start to reduce their working hours in later years.
  • Provide physicians with an internal resource to help them fully comprehend their contract, including the calculation of relative value units, hours/services required to earn the negotiated salary, and which parts of the contract are negotiable, if any.
  • Provide an employee discount program or even a voluntary employee purchase program that allows them to buy items and services through payroll deduction.

Our FORsights™ article, “Combat Burnout Among Your Physicians with Financial Wellness,” references how reducing financial stress in your physicians can improve patient care. Offering financial wellness services can be a valuable tool to attract new physicians and keep your experienced physicians more engaged and focused on patient care. In this season of physician burnout, it’s imperative that employers work to avoid costly turnover and provide essential financial wellness support within their organizations. To discuss which financial wellness tools could be beneficial to your team, please reach out to a professional at FORVIS or submit the Contact Us form below.


E. Thomas Garman, Irene E. Leech, and John E Grable. The Negative Impact of Employee Poor Personal Financial Behaviors on Employers. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, Volume 7, 1996.

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