Surgical leadership within rapidly changing working conditions in Germany

  • Introduction: An overview of the requirements for the head of a surgical department in Germany should be given. Materials and methods: A retrospective literature research on surgical professional policy publications of the last 10 years in Germany was conducted. Results: Surveys show that commercial influences on medical decisions in German hospitals have today become an everyday, predominantly negative, actuality. Nevertheless, in one survey, 82.9% of surgical chief physicians reported being very satisfied with their profession, compared with 61.5% of senior physicians and only 43.4% of hospital specialists. Here, the chief physician is challenged. Only 70% of those surveyed stated that they could rely on their direct superiors when difficulties arose at work, and only 34.1% regarded feedback on the quality of their work as sufficient. The high distress rate in surgery (58.2% for all respondents) has led to a lack in desirability and is reflected in a shortage of qualified applicants for resident positions. In various position papers, surgical residents (only 35% describe their working conditions as good) demand improved working conditions. Chief physicians are being asked to facilitate a suitable work-life balance with regular working hours and a corporate culture with participative management and collegial cooperation. Appreciation of employee performance must also be expressed. An essential factor contributing to dissatisfaction is that residents fill a large part of their daily working hours with non-physician tasks. In surveys, 70% of respondents stated that they spend up to ≥3 h a day on documentation and secretarial work. Discussion: The chief physician is expected to relieve his medical staff by employing non-physician assistants to take care of non-physician tasks. Transparent and clearly structured training to achieve specialist status is essential. It has been shown that a balanced work-life balance can be achieved for surgeons. Family and career can be reconciled in appropriately organized departments by making use of part-time and shift models that exclude 24-h shifts and making working hours more flexible.

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Author:Thomas Schmitz-RixenORCiDGND, Reinhart T. GrundmannORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Innovative surgical sciences
Publisher:de Gruyter
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/04/22
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/10/14
Tag:Generation Y; distress; economy; gender; surgery; work-life balance; working conditions
Page Number:10
First Page:51
Last Page:57
©2019 Schmitz-Rixen T., Grundmann R.T., published by De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License. BY 4.0
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0