How to Beat Physician Burnout and Love Being a Doctor Again

David Maleh, MD
By David Maleh, MD
March 4, 2019

Dr. Maleh on BeachAs a primary care physician (PCP) in traditional medicine, my life was hell. I was a solo practicing internist with a 15-year career, and at 46 I was already burned out with no time for family, friends or hobbies, let alone dedicating the time I wanted to give my patients. Each day was a high-stress, uphill battle of not enough time. 


About the Author
David Maleh, MD
David Maleh, MD

Dr. David Maleh is an experienced internist in Delaware where he’s cared for patients for 17 years, including practicing in a retainer-based, personalized care model since August 2017. He has been recognized as a Top Doc in Delaware and Philadelphia magazines. Dr. Maleh is married with two children and enjoys hiking, cycling and cooking.

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How is MDVIP different than concierge medicine?

Although MDVIP personalized healthcare is sometimes referred to as concierge medicine, it’s not. Our model goes far beyond “fee-for-access” practices that are rightfully seen as a concierge service only accessible to the wealthy. Patients of MDVIP-affiliated physicians pay a reasonable fee for a defined set of medically-relevant services focused on early detection, prevention and wellness.

How do I know the MDVIP primary care model will work for me and my patients?

First, MDVIP has a proven forecasting formula to determine if you can achieve the practice experience you want for your patients. There is no cost for our evaluation of your practice, and no obligation. We’ve assessed over 5,600 practices encompassing more than 11 million patient records. We’ve surveyed over a million patients by phone. Our methodology to predict practice success has been refined by the brightest minds, including engineers from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and back-tested through regression analysis.

Will I get lots of calls after hours or when I go on vacation?

In smaller, MDVIP-affiliated practices where there’s more time for doctor-patient interaction and greater ability to see patients in the office at the onset of potential health problems, our physicians report a very light call volume after hours. Additionally, peer-reviewed published studies have found significantly reduced hospital admissions among patients in affiliated practices, which also translate to fewer calls.

Why is the MDVIP model the best practice option for physicians seeking an alternative to volume medicine?

MDVIP believes that closer doctor-patient relationships coupled with more time are the key ingredients for a better healthcare experience, and ultimately better results. Providing every patient the one-on-one time they need with you along with a more comprehensive approach to preventive care is only possible in smaller practices.

If your present patient load has you on the brink of burnout, perhaps contemplating early retirement or leaving medicine altogether, MDVIP offers you a healthier work/life balance and a means to continue doing what you love.

What happens to patients who don’t join my MDVIP-affiliated practice?

This is the first question every physician asks and one that defines the integrity of MDVIP and of our affiliated physicians. Continuity of care for patients who choose not to join you in a new MDVIP-affiliated practice is our priority. We will not move forward unless a continuity-of-care plan is established with other local doctors with whom you’re comfortable, either in the group practice or the community. We take care of everything working with you and your patients to make the transition process as seamless as possible.

Why do I need MDVIP?

While you can attempt to convert your traditional volume practice to a membership-based model yourself, it’s extremely difficult and stressful. Undertaking a transformation involving thousands of patients while continuing to maintain a full-time practice – all on your own – can set the stage for unpredictable results. Since you only get one chance to do it right, there’s too much at stake to rely on anyone other than the experts in the country, MDVIP.

What kind of patients join MDVIP-affiliated practices?

Patients who join your practice will have an elevated interest in their health – prevention and management. They will highly regard your expertise and time, value their relationship with you and be motivated to work together with you so they can be healthy. And because they’ve chosen to invest in their wellness and fulfill their desire for more individualized attention, they tend to rely on your guidance for both lifestyle and treatment choices.

What happens when I want to retire?

Unlike traditional primary care where physicians are retiring early and receive very little compensation for their practices, MDVIP-affiliated physicians sometimes delay retirement because they love what they do and they love the model. Given that the complexities of closing a practice can be just as challenging as building one, MDVIP approaches retirement planning the same way we approach practice transitions – putting you and your patients first. We take the work and worry out of retiring by providing you with a step-by-step strategy to successfully implement this personal milestone.

Is MDVIP worth considering if I only plan to practice a few more years?

The short answer is YES. If you’re thinking of retiring early because you’re burnt out practicing at your current pace, MDVIP can help extend your career. Need proof? About a quarter of MDVIP-affiliated physicians are age 65+, with many practicing well into their 70s and even 80s. When you truly are ready to start the next chapter, MDVIP can simplify this milestone transition in your professional and personal life by helping you realize the monetary value of your practice.