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Physicians Should Be Aware of Signs of Burnout

Stress is major predictor for burnout among doctors; operating in high-stress environment also harmful

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Burnout can be prevented if physicians are aware of the warning signs, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

Noting that many physicians are feeling exhausted from practicing medicine, Mark Linzer, M.D., from the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, discusses seven signs that physicians should look out for and not ignore.

According to the article, stress is the number one predictor for burnout among physicians; physicians consistently operating under high stress are more than 15 times more likely to burn out. Operating in a high-stress or chaotic environment is also harmful. Physicians who do not agree with their boss’ values or leadership are more likely to feel less motivated and subsequently burn out. Physicians frequently act as an emotional buffer, buffering patients from a stressful environment until they can’t cope. Spending time with family helps physicians perform better; work-life interference is one of the most common predictors for physician burnout. Lacking control over work schedule and free time can cause stress and spark burnout; setting a standardized set of hours is beneficial for physicians. Finally, neglecting oneself is a sign of burnout; self-care is important in caring for patients.

“People always want to say that physician wellness and performance measures will cost a lot of money, but preventing burnout can actually save money in the long run on recruiting and training new practice staff,” Linzer said in a statement.

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