A Medscape National Report on Physician Burnout and Depression reveals some alarming information about the mental health of health care providers in the United States: Nearly two-thirds of physicians report feeling burned out, depressed, or both, and one in three say their depression affects how they relate to their patients and colleagues.
More than 15,000 practicing physicians in 29 medical specialties responded to the survey used to create this report. Of these, 42 percent reported experiencing burnout (defined as physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion or frustration, doubt, or cynicism about their work), 15 percent reported being depressed, and 14 percent reported feeling depressed and burned out.
When it came to patient care, one in three physicians who reported being depressed said they were more easily exasperated by their patients, 32 percent reported being less engaged with their patients, and 29 percent said they were less friendly in their interactions with their patients. Almost 15 percent admitted their depression could lead to errors they wouldn't normally make, and 5 percent said they had made an error that could have harmed a patient because of their mental health.