Docs say hospitals, practices not doing enough to address burnout

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Physician burnout remains a major concern for primary care doctors and emergency medicine practitioners, 74 percent of whom believe their facility or practice has failed to address the problem effectively, according to a recent study from InCrowd, a provider of life sciences and healthcare intelligence.

The number of physicians who admitted to experiencing burnout in the survey tracked roughly in line with previous studies by the Mayo Clinic and Medscape Lifestyles indicating the issue now affects more than half the workforce, according to InCrowd. The phenomenon has become both more widespread and more severe in recent years, encompassing a range of specialties, and has been a particular issue among early-career pediatricians, according to previous reporting by FiercePracticeManagement.

The InCrowd study surveyed 200 primary care and emergency medicine physicians based in the United States over several hours on May 13, 2016. Key findings include these:

  • Weekly or daily job frustration was reported by 37 percent of survey respondents.
  • While 57 percent of respondents admitted to having personally experienced burnout at some point in their careers. Another 37 percent indicated that, though they themselves had not experienced burnout, an acquaintance of theirs had.
  • Doctors reported contributors to burnout predominately in terms of job requirements that they feel reduce or impinge upon the amount of time they take to see their patients, according to qualitative responses. In particular, respondents cited bureaucratic concerns that “generate more income for others,” as well as the need to chase ineffective quality metrics and the time and energy required by inefficient medical records systems.
  • The presence of burnout appears to be affecting doctors’ willingness to suggest children or family members pursue a career in the field, with 58 percent indicating they were either unsure they would make such a recommendation or certain that they would not do so.

- here’s the announcement