BURNOUT IN THE NEWS
Docs vs. the Public
The American Medical Association and the Mayo Clinic recently conducted a study to determine how physician burnout differs from burnout in the general working population. The study, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that compared with the general U.S. population, physicians worked a median of 10 hours more per week, displayed higher rates of emotional exhaustion and reported lower satisfaction with work/life balance. Though the general population does experience burnout, the changing state of the healthcare system is clearly driving the dramatic increases in physician burnout.
Taking Care of the Physician
According to a November 2017 New York Times article, a growing body of research shows that physician burnout and depression are linked to medical errors and to the kind of depersonalized care that is often both less effective and less palatable.
Easing Physician Burnout
Meditation can reverse physician burnout, according to a study published in the September/ October 2013 Annals of Family Medicine. Dr. Mary Catherine Beach of Johns Hopkins states, “This study supports meditation as a way to improve the health of both doctors and their patients. Meditation helps doctors listen better, talk less, and see clearer what patients need.”