The Widespread Problem of Doctor Burnout
Written by Pauline W. Chen, MD, The New York Times
A significant proportion of doctors feel trapped, thwarted by the limited time they are allowed to spend with patients, stymied by the ever-changing rules set by insurers and other payers on what they can prescribe or offer as treatment and frustrated by the fact that any gains in efficiency offered by electronic medical records are so soon offset by numerous, newly devised administrative tasks that must also be completed on the computer.
In this setting, “doctors are losing their inspiration,” Dr. Shanafelt said, “and that is a very frightening thing.”
What patients must face in the examining room is no less alarming. Doctors who are suffering from burnout are more prone to errors, less empathetic and more likely to treat patients like diagnoses or objects.
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