Community//

Are Physicians Burned out or Depressed?

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development revealed that one in every five of us struggle with stress at work. This stress at work results in poor health and more aggressive leadership. While these are harmful, but can be definitely avoided, as this can be a matter of life and death. I would be specifying some […]

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development revealed that one in every five of us struggle with stress at work. This stress at work results in poor health and more aggressive leadership.

While these are harmful, but can be definitely avoided, as this can be a matter of life and death.

I would be specifying some research with hard facts across hospitals in US and some of their shocking results but first consider- What exactly burnout is? And how would you quantify it?

It’s a long term unresolveable job stress that leads to exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed, cynical, detached from the job, and lacking a sense of personal accomplishment.

In a recent report in 2019, 44% pf physician reported feeling burned out, 11% colloquially depressed and 4% were clinically depressed.

(Colloquial depression is feeling down, sad or blue, while Clinical depression is prolonged sever depression that is caused by factors beyond normal grief)

Women are most affected with Bureaucratic task tops the list of causes

Carol Bernstein, MD, Psychiatrist at NYU langone Medical center agrees with the data that women are the worst affected with the number climbing up to 50% , while for men its 39%.

According to him not a single reason can be sighted for this as numerous factors contribute. Major among them is the challenges Womens face with work life balance then do men.

Children and family responsibility are disproportionately assumed by women, although more men are involved then today then before.

Among the reasons cited, having too many administrative task, long working hours, lack of respect and sufficient compensation are major players.

“There’s so much redundant work due to incompetent third parties data collection”. -Endocrinologist.

Effects are dangerous

Although The John Hopkins study cited everything from a lack of skills to computer malfunctions as possible causes of medical errors being made, the Standford team wanted to test how big role stress played. 7000 physicians were surveyed across the United States and more than twice reported low safety grade in works with 4 to 5 times the odds of medical error.

Standford team also reported reduced patient care and satisfaction.

“I used to be able to chart on a patient in 5-10 minutes for established patients, now it takes 20-40 minutes to chart on” – Internist.

“I need to take a lot of time off the office to balance and re-energize my life. It was never an issue 15 years back”- Nephrologist.

“I am planning for early retirement”- Cardiologist.

“I am drinking more and become less active” Anesthesiologist

Improving Physician experience will help in reducing burnout

Upto date many healthcare organisations have focused on physical saftey factors in hospitals, but very few devote these resources to factors which contribute to the systemic burnout of employees. Its even worse when burnout contrubuting to a triplling of medical error even in wards that are considered safest.

IN terms of administrative task, documentation in other countries tends to be far briefer, containing only essential clinical information. Which exclude the need of compliance and reimbursement documentation that commonly blots the American clinical note.

Technology can be as rescue, as a report indicates that AI driven voice annotation of notes could save 40% of the time taken to compile medical record.

Moreover apps also plays a major role training individuals to better handle stress.

Tony Stevenson, senior Project Manager at Purple Olive Labs(Dallas based app development company) says that, recently the company had developed a healthcare app which ask its user to complete a questionnaire that assesses the individual’s level of stress and its causes. It ask questions like

“How often in the lst month you felt that you were unable to control the important things in life?”

Taking those responses in, it provides online cources like meditation, which inproves concentration and decreses tension.

Meditate, Take help, Work less

Notebly, Majoity of physicians dont seek help.

Medical teaches us to ‘Suck it up’, so help-seeking is not a well-honed skill among doctors”- Pamela Wible, MD, Leading voice combating physician.

Most doctors have normalized their miseries and pretend that it’s not bad as it seems.

Moreover few who receive mental health care admit it taking.

Asking for help is the first step. Go for it.

Meditation for at lest 3 hours a week shows signs of improvement.

“I meditate on gratitude for what I appreciate and what is good in my life” – Oncologist

“I limit the number of new patients”- Internist

I leave work early, come in late, go to lunch off-site”- Family Physician

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    Depression is not just a state of mind

    by Naomi Stone
    Community//

    The Difference Between Depression And Burnout

    by Whitney Gordon-Mead, MSc
    Photo Credit: kickimages/Getty Images
    Well-Being//

    How to Know If You're Experiencing Depression or Burnout

    by Dan Lukasik

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.