Weekend Headline Roundup: Physician Burnout & Pediatric Dentistry Challenges

MHA CEO Brian Peters

MHA CEO Brian PetersMHA CEO Brian Peters was quoted in stories published Aug. 8 by MLive and Crain’s Detroit Business discussing the impacts of physician burnout due to COVID-19 and pediatric dentistry challenges.

Hospital staffing has been a challenge since the pandemic began, particularly during the three COVID-19 surges that occurred in Michigan. The MLive story focuses on hospital staff who have transitioned away from COVID-19 care or the acute care hospital setting entirely due to burnout.

“A contributing factor to the staffing shortage prior to the pandemic was the rate of stress and burnout in the healthcare setting and the pandemic has exacerbated the issue,” said Peters. “It is apparent that there are certain jobs, especially those dealing with direct patient care, where the burnout factor is especially pronounced.

“We have heard numerous anecdotal reports from our membership that the pandemic has led many healthcare workers nearing retirement age to leave the workforce. This has created a real crunch in staffing and was really felt during the last surge in Michigan.”

The Crain’s Detroit Business story evaluates the challenges associated with finding operating room time for pediatric dental procedures, particularly for those children with special needs.

"Currently, operating room access is limited throughout the state, and difficult decisions have to be made on which types of procedures can be performed," said Peters. "Hospitals have an obligation to prioritize the patients under the care of their employed physicians and surgeons. In addition, hospitals throughout Michigan continue to operate at high capacity while caring for high volumes of non-COVID-19 patients, which we believe is a consequence of delayed care from the pandemic. The postponement of nonemergency medical procedures at the beginning of the pandemic is one specific example that has led to further demand for operating room space."