A new survey, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which evaluated burnout rates nationally across different medical specialties, showed that more than four in 10 physicians across the nation said they were emotionally exhausted or felt a high degree of cynicism, or “depersonalization,” toward their patients. Ouch. That’s not good but if you have been reading the Authentic Medicine Gazettes I send every Wednesday then you would know why. In the Yahoo piece I reference, Dr. Tait Shanafelt of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who led the research, seems confused.
It’s not clear why burnout strikes so many doctors, said Shanafelt, adding that excessive workloads are only part of the equation. Other possible reasons include too much paperwork, loss of professional autonomy and a higher patient load to make up for declining reimbursement rates.
Not clear? Child, please. Doctors have lost freedom, independence and control. Hell, only a quarter of the surveys were even returned. Doctors don’t care enough to send these things back to help themselves. You could say that only a quarter of the samplings returned would question the validity of the study. I would say yes but remember your Press Ganey bullshit patient surveys get MUCH less than that. And we get penalized on that data!
*Thank to Jon who sent me the info on this. From him:
The highlights are the 5th from the last paragraph where they admit to excessive paperwork and loss of autonomy as some reasons why we’re the only profession who has higher work dissatisfaction after earning a higher degree. Then the last paragraph puts dermatologists as less stressed out than family medicine and emergency medicine doctors. I wouldn’t be so sure about the dermatologists. I used to work for a cosmetic laser surgeon before medical school. Selling those expensive moisturizers made out of wax and water can be pretty stressful.