Doctor burnout, also often called physician burnout, is a situation in which a doctor just feels stressed, overwhelmed and fatigued by their job. It often comes after working long hours with very little rest. This is hard in any industry, but it’s especially hard in the healthcare industry.
Over the last two years, doctor burnout has become a much bigger topic as physicians have struggled to meet all of the needs that their patients have. This is problematic on many levels, and it may mean that a doctor who is honestly trying to do a good job could make a negligent mistake. If they are distracted, stressed, or overly fatigued, they could miss a diagnosis or simply not be as mentally sharp as they ordinarily would.
Why does this happen?
There are a lot of reasons for physician burnout, with one being a lack of staffing that means those who are working have to pick up the slack and work much harder than they anticipated. Hospitals that are completely full of patients can also cause burnout. A few factors that experts have identified include:
- Complicated patients
- Short visits
- Poor work-home balance
- Electronic health record stress
- Lack of control
Doctors may feel like many of these things are entirely out of their control, which is part of the problem. When a physician feels like their job is dictating every aspect of their life, this contributes to the poor work-home balance, and they may feel overly stressed by everything that’s going on.
If this leads to an unfortunate mistake in your case, you may not get the medical care that you expected or that you deserve. Be sure you know what legal options you have at a time like this.