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3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Could Reduce Physician Burnout

Jackson Physician Search
June 5, 2024

Recent headlines about the potential impact of Artificial intelligence (AI) are full of cautious optimism. On the one hand, AI can automate tedious tasks and process vast amounts of data, saving time and increasing efficiency. On the other hand, many fear AI will eliminate jobs while causing an increase in plagiarism, copyright infringement, and other unethical uses. The healthcare industry will not be immune to AI’s impact, but what can we expect to see? Physicians have long utilized Google to access quick potential solutions to challenging symptoms, but can the latest AI tools offer more than this? Several recent use cases suggest AI might perform some of the most taxing parts of physician jobs, potentially eliminating one of the primary causes of physician burnout–administrative burden. Keep reading for three ways AI could reduce burnout and make physician jobs more appealing.

1. Streamlining Clinical Documentation

A recent article by Patrick Boyle for AAMC follows an organization in North Carolina that uses Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) by Nuance Communications for clinical documentation. DAX and other ambient intelligence tools similar to it listen and record doctor-patient conversations and generate organized summaries for electronic health records (EHRs). This reduces the time physicians spend on note-taking, allowing them to focus more on patient care and improving the quality of interactions. Physician feedback is largely positive, with most reporting improved listening ability and time savings. While the physician must carefully review notes before attaching them to the EMR, the time saved is still significant.

2. Enhancing Patient Monitoring and Communication

Physicians can use AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants for patient monitoring and communication, which also saves them time. Another article from Boyle for AAMC introduces readers to “Penny,” a chatbot at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center that helps monitor patients undergoing oral chemotherapy from home. Penny checks on patients daily, reminding them of medication schedules, asking about side effects, and alerting clinicians when needed. Northwell Health provides another example of an AI-driven chat service being used to monitor patients with chronic conditions and those recovering from surgery. The chatbot sends patients customized questions based on their histories. Depending on responses, appropriate follow-up questions are asked, and clinicians are alerted when necessary. 

Digital patient portals give patients a direct line to their providers, but responding to individual queries increases the workload of already burdened physicians. Leveraging AI-driven chatbots to provide answers will free physicians to focus on acute needs without neglecting their patients at home. In fact, these tools can potentially improve patient outcomes and reduce the likelihood of hospital readmissions.

3. Supporting Clinical Decision-Making

AI’s role in supporting clinical decision-making is promising as well. Already utilized in specialties such as radiology, pathology, and ophthalmology, AI tools analyze large datasets, recognize complex patterns, and extract valuable insights that improve the accuracy and efficiency of medical imaging and lead to better clinical decision-making. A 2020 report from McKinsey and Company predicted the increased use of AI in clinical practice partly because it gives practitioners faster and easier access to more knowledge. Tom Lawry of Second Century Tech, an AI transformation consultancy, noted in an AMA podcast the “cognitive burden” placed on physicians today due to the exponential growth of medical information. He highlights the ability of AI to scan and analyze vast amounts of data and provide insights that play a role in diagnosing and treatment planning. This ensures more precise and effective treatments while liberating physicians from feeling they are always working from behind.


The McKinsey report suggests that 70% of a physician’s time is spent on administrative work–much of which can potentially be done by AI. If this is true, AI adoption will dramatically change the job of a physician for the better. As Tom Lawry said in the aforementioned AMA podcast, physicians didn’t go into medicine to become data clerks, yet that is much of what the job has become. Fortunately, cutting-edge AI tools designed for clinical documentation, patient communication, and remote monitoring will alleviate much of this burden. Additionally, AI’s ability to scan and analyze vast amounts of knowledge empowers physicians to make more accurate diagnoses and advise better treatment plans to improve patient outcomes. As AI continues to evolve, its ability to support physicians will only increase. Physicians have reason to feel hopeful about handing over administrative tasks to AI and doing more of what they were trained to do–provide quality care to patients. 

Are you seeking a physician job that will allow you to spend more time with patients and less time on paperwork? Reach out to the recruitment team at Jackson Physician Search today or search for physician jobs online now.


Have more questions about the physician job search? 

The Physician Career Resource Center provides articles, whitepapers, and infographics designed to help physicians through all aspects of the physician job search. 

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