Why Tom Gallo Wants to Address Burnout During His Year as ACCC President

The increasing level of frustration that Tom Gallo saw in cancer care prompted him to choose burnout as the theme for his year as president of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC).

How did you settle on clinician burnout as your theme for your upcoming term as president of the Association of Community Cancer Centers?
I’ve been on the administrative side of cancer care for a long time. I’m not a clinician, and I’ve always told the clinicians that you could never pay me enough to do what they do—it’s an extremely difficult specialty, and I understand that and realize it.

But what I’ve seen in the past years is I’ve been involved, obviously, in groups like ACCC, and I’ve had the opportunity to travel and meet with lots of other both providers and administrators in cancer care, and I’ve seen an increasing level of frustration even anger at the bureaucracy and the system and how it’s taking away from their ability to provide good quality, efficient cancer care. There are so many physicians now that I go to talk to and they are pulling out from their pockets their smartphones with their countdown calculators, and the countdown is how many days, minutes, and hours until retirement.

Based on these changes that I’ve seen in the past few years, I thought it was time to try to address this and see if we could work together to find some solutions to get everyone focused on the patient and providing the best quality care to the patient.
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