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Physician Burnout Is Real! Here’s What You Need to Know

Adaptive Medical Partners | Healthcare News

Physician Burnout Is Real! Here’s What You Need to Know

Doctors are heroes. But the work can take its toll, especially in today’s healthcare industry.

All doctors should take time to learn about this current crisis (the more you know!). Because it’s the first step in stopping yourself from becoming burned out.

Physician Burnout

Stats on Physician Burnout

report released by the American Medical Association highlights the severity of physician burnout. Just consider the following findings:

  • In emergency medicine, nearly 60 percent of doctors are burned out.
  • In OB/GYN, roughly 55 percent are burned out.
  • In family medicine, about 54 percent are burned out.
  • In neurology, just over 50 percent are burned out.
  • In psychiatry and mental health, about 42 percent are burned out (which isn’t even within the top 20 most stressful healthcare specialties).

Indeed, from rheumatology to orthopedics to pathology, burnout is increasing. In fact, from 2013 to 2017, the vast majority of specialties saw increases in burnout.

So, the question is: Why is this happening?

Causes of Physician Burnout

Physician burnout can’t be pinned down to one issue, but rather is a combination of factors, which include:

Work Overload

On average, physicians work 10 more hours per week (50 versus 40). Working too much can cause physical and mental fatigue and emotional stress.

There are many reasons doctors are working so many hours. There is already a doctor shortage (the shortfall could reach 94,000 by 2025). Since the US population is aging, more people are requiring medical care. Physicians graduate with an ever-increasing amount of debt. These factors, among others, mean physicians must take on more work to meet the demands of the market.

Lack of Work-Life Balance

When you’re working more hours and the work is stressful, it can be difficult to have a good work-life balance. The numbers don’t lie: only 36 percent of physicians are satisfied with their work-life balance–much lower than the average.

A proper work-life balance is vital to happiness and productivity. Without proper time to focus on your own health and well-being, performance at your healthcare facility can suffer. That’s because you’re not in the best shape to care for your patients.

Industry Issues

Most physicians chose the profession because they want to do something good. Unfortunately, issues in healthcare can cause burnout and frustration.

Dr. Beth Netter, a holistic physician in Albany, sums it up nicely. She says things like “cumbersome regulations, medical liability, on-call issues, coding requirements and computer technology demands” can leave healthcare providers exhausted.

Being the Happy, Productive Physician You Know You Can Be

Some things are outside your control, but you can take smart steps to prevent burnout. In addition to understanding what causes burnout, take time to find a healthcare organization that matches your needs and preferences. This way, your workplace environment will support you–and keep you from becoming exhausted.