Why Doctors and Pharmacists Are in Revolt Part-3

by | Feb 5, 2024

This is part three in a three part series, looking at a really critical article in the New York Timesfrom Monday, December 4th about the evolution of workplace culture in the healthcare industry, particularly when it comes to doctors and pharmacists.

You can check out parts one and two below, if you haven’t already.

Why Doctors and Pharmacists Are in Revolt part-1

Why Doctors and Pharmacists Are in Revolt part-2

In this, I want to identify the feeling that the doctors are having, that they’ve lost a sense of status once viewed as one of the most elite professions in America.

They are now feeling like cogs in a wheel, and there’s actually a doctor who says, it doesn’t matter if you’re a fulfillment worker at an Amazon warehouse or a truck driver or a doctor anymore.

The feeling of being a cog in the wheel is the same for everyone, and I think that is really critical when corporate leaders make employees feel like they don’t matter and that they are just tools to achieve a series of metrics.

Disengagement happens and unionization happens, which is what this article is talking about.

Another important thing that this article highlights is the importance of allowing those that are on the front lines, whether they be doctors or whether they be retail clerks to make decisions in how to best serve their customer, or in the doctor’s case, their patient.

In this article, a doctor says, corporate tells you how to manage your patient.

You know, that’s not how you’re supposed to manage your patient, but you can’t say anything because you’re scared you’re going to be fired.

That power dynamic that is inherent in any corporate structure silences the worker.

Workers are incentivized to be quiet because they’re playing a game, because there is authority above them, authority of their salary, authority of their employment, and because we live in a tenuous time, fear drives our behavior.

The belief that we are in danger will drive the actions that we’re not gonna speak up when we know we’re being forced to do something that’s wrong for the patient or for the customer.

So the best thing a leader can do is coach to the belief that there is nothing to fear, that their feedback is welcome and create that psychological safety, and you do that through experiences.

It speaks to a very common narrative we’re seeing in the American worker today, but from someone who’s making $400,000 a year.

Interestingly, the healthcare industry is one of our top industries at Culture Partners because healthcare is struggling right now, and we’re seeing this in our day-to-Day with our clients.

Hopefully this three part series was helpful in analyzing this article.

If you didn’t see parts one and two, the links are below, and I look forward to getting your feedback.

Why Doctors and Pharmacists Are in Revolt part-1

Why Doctors and Pharmacists Are in Revolt part-2