Gimme 3 Steps (With a Nod to an American Rock Song from the 1970s)


  • Curt G Tribble Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia



The message that patients are frequently dissatisfied with their interactions with their physicians is a common one. And, articles about physician burnout are plentiful [Shanafelt 2015]. Indeed, a recent national survey showed a nearly 9 percent increase in burnout rates over just the last 3 years [Peckham 2015]. Many factors contribute to this problem, not the least of which is the push to use electronic medical records systems, as evidenced by the recent comment from the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Mr. Andy Slavitt, who said “we have to get the hearts and minds of physicians back. I think we’ve lost them” [McKnight 2016].
While many of the factors contributing to physician dissatisfaction are, and will be, difficult to control, there is at least one source of satisfaction that is within the relatively easy purview of virtually all practicing physicians, and that source is the patients for whom all physicians care.  Fortunately, there are some straightforward, simple, and efficient ways to improve the view patients have of their physicians and the satisfaction that physicians can derive from caring for their patients. Three simple steps that can make both physicians and their patients more satisfied with the interactions between patients and physicians are outlined here. These suggestions are primarily oriented toward physicians in training caring for hospitalized patients, though they are most certainly applicable to all physicians. These suggestions are based on what younger physicians can say to, ask of, or do for a patient under their care, all of which can be easily and efficiently accomplished.


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How to Cite

Tribble, C. G. (2016). Gimme 3 Steps (With a Nod to an American Rock Song from the 1970s). The Heart Surgery Forum, 19(2), E080-E081.