Did you know approximately 50% physicians in the US are dealing with physician burnout?
There are several reasons behind it such as, an inherently stressful job, having to deal with non-clinical burdens like billing and documentation, and an inefficient work environment. Emotional and physical exhaustion caused by burnout results in medical errors, clinical effectiveness and low personal accomplishments for physicians.
For a medical practice to grow and deliver quality patient care, it is very important to treat the root causes of physician burnout. The medical community needs to acknowledge as well as address the factors at play and take measurable steps towards solving the issues.
Burnout is a phenomenon that is not restricted to one specialty. It is found in every specialty, regardless of the time demands or stress levels.
There is no single cause of burnout; however, here are top three reasons that contribute to it significantly:
- First and most common reason is that physicians are subject to time-consuming administrative tasks in their office. Most of these tasks are from regulations imposed by federal as well as non-federal insurers. Time demand of EHRs is the single most problematic area for physicians. According to the industry experts, burnout rates spiked at the time of broad adoption of EHRs. Even though electronic health records have been designed to revolutionize health care, they are turning many physicians into clerks.
- Not having enough time for personal life is another common reason why many physicians are dealing with burnouts. Physicians are trained for dealing with high-stress decisions on a daily basis. But when work has an impact on their personal lives, such as frequent changes in schedule, emergency cases and so on, then burnout is bound to happen.
- It is unfortunate but many physicians don’t like to seek help for anxiety and depression problems. Even though they know that these factors can contribute to burnout, they don’t mention it because most states require physicians to report even minor mental health-related diagnosis to their licensing board.
Even in the medical industry, it is very important to identify the problem before it is treated. Many researchers are working towards identifying interventions that can ease burnouts. Even academic hospitals and universities are working towards addressing this problem. Only when our physicians are healthy and happy, we can expect to get quality health care.