Where have all the Doctors’ Lounges gone?

Doctors' lounge

With physician burnout receiving more and more attention lately, some hospitals and offices are trying to focus on improving the wellness and morale of the physicians in their employ by embracing the Doctors’ Lounge. A haven where physicians can get away from the work atmosphere and unwind or speak freely is a welcome respite – but for far too many physicians, there is no Doctors’ Lounge left at their place of work. We chatted with doctors about their doctors’ lounges, or lack thereof, and this is what they had to say:

“We don’t have one. I have brought it up multiple times to administration, but I just get the “oh, that would be a good idea” and nothing ever happens…“ – Pathology

“[Our] lounge is a joke… the CMO hangs around and we don’t talk.” – OBGYN

“In 15 years and 3 jobs since residency, I have never seen a Doctors’ Lounge” – Neurology

“I’ve been to some really nice ones. The last time was more than 15 years ago. An anachronism, likely even then.” – Surgery

“No doctor’s lounge in the main hospital I work at unfortunately… small lounge in ED where I work at with a couch, one computer, but it’s a mess and never cleaned – basically a place where we store our stuff….” – Emergency Medicine

“When I was a med student it was great. But I wasn’t allowed in unless accompanied by a resident or attending. I relished those days. It was good to be able to share a meal and discuss shared patients and their issues. It was definitely good for patient care. Since then I have seen nothing like it. Where I am now there is just a break room for OR staff.” – Ophthalmology

“The NHS hospitals used to invariably have a doctors ‘Mess’ – the equivalent to the lounge I guess. Mess parties were legendary and still subject of folklore / tales for those that can remember. And yes, nurses invited! More important it was a place to meet, unwind, and de-stress with colleagues. It’s really sad that this structure has largely been dismantled in the UK. In part due to the ever increasing workload meaning that juniors and seniors simply don’t get time to ‘stop’ when at work.” – Pulmonology

“We have an incredible doctors’ lounge at the main hospital to which we admit… I am the only family physician who does hospital, but it’s a great time for me to connect with all the specialists. We talk shop, update each other on developments in our field, discuss current cases on the floor, but also plenty of personal talk, with sports and politics… A lot of work, relationship-building, and relaxing takes place there, and it adds to our quality of life and sense of community.” – Family Medicine

“When I worked in a more rural area, about 7 years ago, the doctors lounge was a great place to informally consult with other physicians. Sooooo hard to get specialist referrals… in 5-10 minutes, great advice/direction as opposed to the patient waiting a year or more to get an appointment.” – Pediatrics

SERMO is a virtual doctors’ lounge where real physicians can discuss anything and everything that is important to them with other doctors from around the world. As the real-world lounges disappear, we remain committed to creating a place where doctors can laugh, learn, commiserate, engage, and support each other:

“What happened to the Doctor’s Lounge? – that’s the question SERMO answered! 700,000 and climbing MD’s agree.” – Psychiatry

“With SERMO… as a virtual doctor’s lounge, who needs a physical lounge at work when I can sit in comfort in my own home with food and drink and chat with other docs on SERMO?” – Emergency Medicine

“The only Doctors’ Lounge I’ve ever seen is virtual (SERMO)!” – Neurology

Are you a physician? Do you need a lounge to chat with other doctors? Join SERMO today!

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