Burnout as a term is defined as physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. And in Medical dictionary, it is defined as emotional and physical exhaustion resulting from a combination of exposure to environmental and internal stressors and inadequate coping and adaptive skills. In addition to signs of exhaustion, the person with burnout exhibits anincreasingly negative attitude toward his or her job, low self-esteem, and personal devaluation. The condition was first described by Dr. Herbert Freudenberger (Psychologist) in 1974.
ICD-10 code for this: Z73.0 – Burn-out (state of vital exhaustion).
According to a report published Online First by Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication, a national survey of 7,288 physicians (26.7 percent participation rate) finds that 45.8 percent of physicians reported at least one symptom of burnout. They were assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory and 45.8% of physicians reported at least 1 symptom of burnout. The highest burnout rate was among the front line care physicians like family medicine, internal medicine, and emergency medicine.
Reasons of Burnout:
Doctors work with stressful situations throughout the day seeing & treating patients, and it can lead to overwork if they do not take breaks from the packed schedules. Other factors also come into play are shift changes and long work hours, understaffing of hospitals, responsibility of providing high level of care over long period, and sometimes frustration with job expectations. While in the private practice, doctors can have another set of challenges -
- Long and Strenuous Hours
- Not Enough Breaks
- Ever Increasing Paperwork
- Administrative Work
- Changing Medical Reforms
- Threat of Malpractice Suits
- Work-Life Balance Issues
Impact of Burnout:
Practice of medicine can be very fulfilling and satisfying but it can also be extremely demanding, ever so in today’s times with new systems and reforms. Physician burnout may adversely impact workplace interaction, influence quality of patient care, increase the scope for errors, and have negative personal consequences for physicians.
Prevention /Promotion of Wellness:
- Focus on personal relationships
- Manage schedule and work hours
- Cultivate personal interests
- Seek help if needed
- Get adequate support services: Nurses, office, administrative, outsource billing service
- Promote work-life balance-take a vacation!
- Spend time with inner self/Spiritual aspects
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