Why doctors quit

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This is an article review of the article entitled Why Doctors Quit by Charles Krauthammer [1]


This article is an important opinion piece by a noted physician turned political pundit. It is significant in that it perfectly captures the frustration physicians feel at the mandate to adopt Electronic Health Records (EHR)s in their practice, the impact that the feel it is having on their quality of care and the overall effect on the health care system as a result.


Dr. Charles Krauthammer left the practice of medicine years ago to follow his passion for writing and politics. At a recent medical school reunion he had the opportunity to speak to his fellow physicians still in practice and was struck by the overwhelmingly negative attitude they had toward regulatory changes in health care. Specifically, the mandated adoption of electronic medical records due to Meaningful Use. In the article, DR. Krauthammer reports many physicians felt that the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) was intrusive, created additional documentation that was of no value, and reduced the number of patients they were able to see by about ¾. Some were seriously considering leaving the practice of medicine for the first time in their careers, feeling that they were no longer doing patient care but data entry.


While this is not a peer reviewed article published in a scientific journal, it is an important paper. A Health Informatics professional working in a hospital is likely to have at least one physician refer to this article. It can be found pinned to the wall of physician lounges, or circulating among them in Medical Staff committee meetings. It is important also in that it gives insight into how EHR design must be driven by end-user experience.

Additional Comments

I agree with the above comment that EHR design must be driven by the end user experience, however one should also remember that what we want may not be what we need. Unfortunately at the time of this rush to implement EHR and even now the distinction between what the user wants and needs is not very clear.


  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-doctors-quit/2015/05/28/1e9d8e6e-056f-11e5-a428-c984eb077d4e_story.html