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Infographic: What does the Average Physician’s Day Look Like?

We’ve all heard the story about the overworked, burned-out physician. U.S. doctors are up against a lot nowadays, between overflowing patient case loads, strict policy requirements, and tighter bottom lines. More doctors are retiring early or leaving the field. A recent Medscape survey found 46% of physicians reported burnout just last year!

While many healthcare providers could probably easily list off the culprits behind these issues, we wanted to know identify the biggest sink on their time. What’s really taking up all their time? What does the average physician day look like? How much time are today’s providers actually spending on patient care? What can the healthcare field do to make sure doctors are spending more time doing what they actually signed-up for – helping and healing patients?

We put together this infographic to help answer these questions. Check it out below!

Overwhelmingly, the biggest drain on physician time seemed to be prior-authorizations and insurance paperwork. One study found physicians spend an incredible 20 hours a week just on administrative tasks! Plus, the average doctor spends almost half their day outside the patient exam room.

Another survey framed EHR technology as a factor in lost productivity, showing a slight increase in admin time for EHR users. This finding did seem logical, though, considering the extra upfront training time and costs needed to learn and implement a new technology system. It’ll be interesting to see how that trend shifts in the coming years, either in the same direction or to support claims that EHRs boost productivity and prove ROI in the long-term.

Physicians clearly just have too much on their plate. One study found the average patient caseload of a primary care physician was 2,300 patients, with about 94 patient encounters per week. The healthcare field needs to find better ways to help providers spend more time caring for patients, and less time on paperwork. We have a few ideas on how to do that included in our infographic below. But those won’t work unless everyone is on board.

Please share this infographic with friends and colleagues, and include #providerfirst in your tweets to call for change!

Portrait of the Overburdened Doctor Infographic







Thanks to all our sources for making this infographic possible!


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