Doctor Burnout on the Rise

In this fast-paced world, job burnout is an increasingly common ailment. And doctors may be feeling it more than most.

According to a 2014 national survey of doctors by researchers at the Mayo Clinic, about 54 percent of the respondents experienced at least one symptom of burnout. That's up from 46 percent in a 2011 survey.

Of 6,880 doctors who responded to the 2014 survey, about 47 percent reported high emotional exhaustion, 35 percent felt depersonalized or saw less value in their work and 16 percent said they felt a low level of personal accomplishment.

Burnout rates varied between specialties, with rates topping 60 percent among doctors in emergency medicine, family medicine, urology, rehabilitation and radiology.

Even with no increase in the number of hours worked, only 41 percent of all the doctors who responded said they were satisfied with the balance between their work and personal lives, down from about 49 percent in 2011.

Researchers pointed to three psychological issues in the workplace that could undermine doctors' attitudes about their profession: loss of autonomy, mental exhaustion and "asymmetrical rewards"--meaning that success is barely acknowledged while mistakes come with heavy punishments.

The study team noted that 75 percent of doctors now work for large healthcare organizations. 

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Sourced from: Reuters Health, More than half of U.S. doctors experience burnout