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Physician Satisfaction Starts With Onboarding

November 22, 2023

In October 2023, AMA Chief Experience Officer Todd Unger interviewed Rebecca Lauderdale, MD, physician well-being champion at Hattiesburg Clinic about the steps her health system has taken to support early career physicians with innovative onboarding initiatives.  


Dr. Lauderdale has been working on physician well-being initiatives for several years at Hattiesburg Clinic, using a proactive approach to physician health. What she found is that physicians in their first five years of practice experienced a higher rate of burnout compared to their peers. This prompted further investigation. 

"Our early career physicians...had a higher rate of burnout than the rest of the organization by 10 points." 

Rebecca Lauderdale, MD 

Dr. Lauderdale and her team found that social connections were a top need for improving physician well-being, which lead to initiatives such as a large social event and targeted physician dinners to foster relationships. The Clinic also instituted an Onboarding Academy to help new physicians integrate into the organization.  


Another priority identified was the ability to weigh in on organizational changes that impacted the physicians’ day-to-day activities, particularly with EHR updates. To address this, the Clinic has begun involving physicians in decision-making and creating engaging events around significant EHR updates. 

"We hope that...our new physicians will feel more a part of the organization, they'll know more about what they need to experience more joy in their practice." 

Rebecca Lauderdale, MD 

Dr. Lauderdale’s team plans to conduct another organizational biopsy to gain further insights into how to support their physicians and reduce burnout.