Jump to Navigation

Study on Doctor Burnout Leads to Concerns Over Patient Care

Physicians experience job burnout just like many other hard working Americans. However, a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that this is occurring more so than in years past prompting many to worry about the effects of doctor burnout on the rate of medical errors and quality of patient care.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, surveyed over 7,000 doctors. The survey, called the Maslach Burnout Inventory (BI), asked doctors various questions about their feelings of emotional exhaustion, cynicism, or sense of low personal accomplishment of their job.

Almost 38 percent indicated that they had gone through some sort of emotional exhaustion. About 29 percent indicated that they felt a sense of cynicism about their job and over 12 percent said they felt a sense of low personal accomplishment in their field.

Doctors in the fields of ER, neurology, family or internal medicine, in particular, indicated they experienced the most burnout.

Not unlike any other burnout situation, a person is more likely to cut corners and miss important parts of their job when they experience feelings of apathy. However, because patients' lives are at stake, doctor burnout is especially alarming.

Dr. Tait Shanafelt, study co-author and hematologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN indicated to TIME, "Our finding is concerning given the extensive literature linking burnout to medical errors and lower quality of care."

And, according to Dr. Mark Linzer, director of Hennepin Healthcare System in Minneapolis, MN, the issue will most likely only get worse. Many doctors are going to be seeing more patients due to the Affordable Care Act, he says.

To help mitigate the potential occurrences of medical errors, Mayo Clinic internal medicine physician and study co-author Dr. Colin West suggests better stress management training for doctors and more emphasis on a positive work-life balance.

"The mission of Britcher Leone, LLC is to unite the professional disciplines of medicine and law to help the victims of physicians' malpractice and serious personal injury restore their future and the future of their families."
Verdicts & Settlements
  • $1,237,004 Verdict for Failure to Properly Treat
  • $42 Million Dollar Vaccine Injury Structured Settlement
  • $5.7 Million Obstetrical Malpractice Structured Settlement
  • $3.8 Million Present Value Pediatric Urological Surgery Settlement
  • $3.38 Million Gross Medical Malpractice Verdict
  • $1.65 Million Present Value Spinal Surgery Settlement
  • $5.2 Million Obstetrical Malpractice Structured Settlement
  • $40 Million Vaccine Structured Award
  • $19 Million Vaccine Structured Award
  • $2.5 Million Failure to Timely Diagnose Breast Cancer Verdict
  • $16 Million Obstetrical Malpractice Structured Settlement
  • $13.6 Million Obstetrical Malpractice Structured Settlement
  • $3.5 Million Resort Negligence Settlement
  • $60 Million Flu Vaccine Structured Settlement
  • $2 Million Wrongful Birth/Wrongful Life Settlement
  • $3.5 Million Present Value Wrongful Death Settlement
  • $1.59 Million Medical Malpractice Judgment
  • $800,000 Recovery Failure to Treat Eye Infection and Vision Loss
  • $1.35 Million Wrongful Death Settlement
  • $1.2 Million Failure to Provide Adequate Security Settlement
  • $850,000 Settlement for Brachial Plexus/Shoulder Dystocia Injury
  • $1 Million Podiatric Malpractice Judgment
  • $863,000 Orthopedic Malpractice Judgment
  • $850,000 Radiology Malpractice Settlement
  • $800,000 Cardiology Malpractice/Wrongful Death Settlement
View All Verdicts
Google+ LinkedIn Uniting Medicine & Law | Rebuilding Your Future