How To Prevent Physician Burnout
Being a practicing physician is a challenging job that carries significant responsibility and high stress levels. Many team members try to work through their anxiety, which can create burnout that impacts the overall quality of care. Learn more about preventing physician burnout and the signs to look for.
What Is Physician Burnout?
According to the American Family of Physicians, physician burnout is the combination of symptoms that develop when energy levels reach a negative balance. There are three main types of energy sources that need to be properly managed:
Physical energy involves taking care of your body by getting plenty of sleep, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly.
Maintaining healthy relationships in your life helps balance emotional energy. This makes you emotionally available to patients and other physicians and allows better professional development.
Many doctors and nurses can continue to work during the burnout phase, but their ability to provide quality patient care is impacted.
Physician Burnout Statistics
Because physician burnout is difficult to spot, some care teams may not consider it a priority. However, it’s a widespread issue that should be taken seriously and tracked consistently. Here are some physician burnout statistics according to a 2020 Medscape survey:
- More than 40% of physicians reported feeling burned out.
- Generation X physicians report higher burnout levels than millennials and boomers.
- Female physicians are more likely to report burnout than male physicians.
- Bureaucratic tasks are the most cited cause of burnout.
- More than 60% of physicians try to handle burnout on their own.
Top Causes of Physician Burnout
While there are many causes of physician burnout, here are some of the most common:
Physicians don’t start practicing medicine because they want to sit behind a desk and deal with paperwork. Many doctors and nurses point to recent increases in EHR management and the computerization of their job as a burnout cause.
Reduced Time With Patients
There are only so many hours in a shift, and spending too much time on administrative tasks means less time spent with patients. Many physicians consider patient relationships the most rewarding part of their job and become dissatisfied when their responsibilities are directed elsewhere.
Lack of Work/Life Balance
Working too many hours is another common cause of physician burnout. A recent study found a strong correlation between hours worked and overall burnout.
Increased Patient Demand
Patient satisfaction is critical for a physician’s job security, and they’re expected to adapt to evolving needs. The increase in retail clinics and on-demand options has placed additional pressure on physicians to meet patient demands.
A PatientPop survey found that nearly 20% of patients only consider physicians with at least 4.5 out of 5 stars. This added emphasis on online reputation means one negative review could significantly impact your ability to attract new patients.
Signs of Physician Burnout
Doctors and nurses continuously deal with high stress levels, from finishing medical school to maintaining patient satisfaction. Because physician burnout is prevalent across various fields, it’s important to understand how to manage it. Here are some tips for reducing physician burnout:
Reduce Administrative Tasks
The American healthcare system is complex, and dealing with insurance providers only adds to stress levels. Finding ways to reduce the administrative burden allows physicians to spend more time with patients, creating a better environment for care.
Encourage Hobbies Outside of Work
Did you know that 30 minutes of exercise can help you reduce stress levels? Make sure you have hobbies or activities outside of work that allow you to refresh mentally.
Develop a Support Group
Invest time in setting up care groups for physicians. Having someone to talk to helps reduce stress and provides much-needed support.
Create Positive Environments
Creating and maintaining positive environments allows better professional development. Classes about burnout help physicians recognize the signs and symptoms and take steps to reduce their stress levels.
Are concerns about your financial health contributing to physician burnout? Contact Physician’s Resource Services today, and one of our team members will help address your worries.
Physician’s Resource Services: Devoted to Helping Reduce Physician Burnout
The team at Physician’s Resource Services understands that working in the medical field is a rewarding yet extremely challenging career. We take pride in helping physicians manage their financial health. From tax preparation to financial planning, we can help reduce stress levels outside of work and let you focus on what’s important. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
“You dedicate your life to helping patients with their physical health; Let us help you with your financial health.”
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