If you feel like your doctor just isn’t “into it” anymore, you might be right.
A survey in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that more than half of physicians in the United States are experiencing professional burnout.
The survey was conducted in partnership with the American Medical Association (AMA). Researchers compared data collected in 2011 with metrics from 2014. They also compared the data on doctors with American adults working in other fields.
More physicians in almost every specialty are feeling this way and that’s not good for them, their families, the medical profession, or patients.
Dr. Tait Shanafelt, Mayo Clinic
“Burnout manifests as emotional exhaustion, loss of meaning in work, and feelings of ineffectiveness,” Dr. Tait Shanafelt, a hematologist at the Mayo Clinic, said in a statement. “More physicians in almost every specialty are feeling this way and that’s not good for them, their families, the medical profession, or patients.”
In the 2011 survey, 45 percent of doctors met the burnout criteria. The highest rates were in general internal medicine, emergency medicine, and family medicine.
In 2014, that number rose to 54 percent of doctors reporting at least one burnout symptom. Their sense of work-life balance was down while work hours were up. Rates of depression remained about the same as in 2011.
Physicians in private practice were 33 percent more likely to experience burnout than professionals in academia. Doctors in emergency medicine, neurology, orthopedic surgery, physical/rehabilitation medicine, radiology, and urology were at greater risk of burning out, Shanafelt said.