Our doctors are getting burned out, according to newly-compiled research that shows physicians in our country are feeling the lows and dissatisfaction with their careers at a much higher rate than any other field.
Cole Petrochko, associate staff writer at MedPage Today, reported on the newfound research. It’s been determined that nearly 40 percent of physicians said they experience burnout symptoms. This is compared to the near 30 percent of those in the general workforce who reported the same thing. Furthermore, more than 40 percent of physicians reported a dissatisfaction with their work-life balance.
These stats jump even higher when the field is limited to front-line care physicians. For example, those in emergency medicine are at a greater risk of career burnout.
In these studies, burnout refers to symptoms of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low sense of personal accomplishment. And if these symptoms weren’t bad enough, more than 35 percent of physicians have also reported that work does not allow for enough time for a personal or a family life.
Compared to the average worker in America, our physicians are working an average of 10 hours more than their peers, adding one more reason why burnout rates among doctors and physicians have reached alarming levels. Because the rates are so high, researchers have suggested that effective interventions need to take place in order to reverse the trend.
The schedule and demands of doctors in the U.S. have long been scrutinized. It seems no other occupations require an employee to continue working for so many hours in such high stress situations. Those who have the knowledge and ability to save lives are up against such taxing schedules, that it’s no surprise that so many face burnout.
Hopefully this research will lead to much-needed change in order for our physicians to perform at their highest levels without finding themselves out of fuel and dissastisfied.