Physician Burnout – Patient Beware!

In the increasing world of data based medicine and value based outcomes Physician Burnout is increasing at an alarming rate. Physicians describe this feeling like an overwhelming sense of physical, emotional and cerebrally/mental exhaustion.
“We feel like our body’s are racing on overtime but moving at a snails pace where nothing gets finished.” There is never enough time to catch up on charts, conduct research, see all the patients that need to be seen and tend to anything personal. They can’t turn off what needs to get finished or accomplished within a very small, critical window of time.

Christina Maslach a pioneer in this field describes the key symptoms of physician burnout – exhaustion, inefficiency in the system, resentment and loss of empathy.

It is not just the providers who suffer. Health care reform and changes create stress. Reimbursements have been cut while the system demands more services from physicians in less time. Patients are less satisfied and diagnostic errors occur.

Symptoms of Physician Burnout:
Workplace Resentment (Moodiness, Anger)
Resentment of the inefficiency in the system
Decreasing job satisfaction

Decreasing productivity

Lack of work/life balance

Lack of planning and participation
Conflict at work and at home – lack of boundaries

Lack of sleep, exhaustion and difficulty sleeping
Negative impacts on physical health – not feeling well
Feelings of depression and anxiety
Lack of empathy
Feelings of apathy and cynicism
Patient safety–related concerns which causes more stress

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