Many doctors suffer from fatigue, and health systems need to do more

A group of doctors said it’s not about building more resilience. Health organizations should provide resources and reduce the burden of taxes for their doctors.

Many doctors are experiencing burnout, and it’s becoming a concern for healthcare leaders.

Burnout as doctors has reached a new high Research Published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Researchers found that in 2021, 63% of physicians experienced burnout, compared to 38.2% in 2020. The American Medical Association collaborated with Stanford University School of Medicine and Colorado School of Medicine researchers on the study.

Health issues He hosted a virtual roundtable with several health care leaders on Thursday. Alan Will, Health issues The editor-in-chief asked the participants, all doctors, about the burn condition.

Some members emphasized a point early in the discussion. Instead of strengthening doctors, they focused more on organizations and health policy to make structural changes.

“The problem is not a lack of recovery on the part of individual physicians,” said Christine Sinski, AMA’s vice president of professional satisfaction.

Policymakers pay more attention to the safety of doctors and other health care workers. President Joe Biden this year signed funding for health care organizations to address fires and mental health. In April 2020, health groups pushed for the bill, known as Lorna Breen’s Law, after an emergency physician died by suicide early in the Covid-19 pandemic.

organizational challenge

The panelists agreed that it is important to understand that burnout is different from mental illness.

“Burnout is not a mental illness,” Sinski said. “This is a job stress syndrome.”

Doctors, including panel members, cited several factors that contribute to burnout The stress of treating COVID-19 patients for more than two years. Growing staff shortages are adding to the burden on physicians, especially as health systems are now experiencing them. Patients who delayed care during the epidemic and are now very sick.

However, some burdens are well known, including the stress of documentation and problems associated with electronic medical record systems. Doctors spend most of their time outside of work documenting patient records, panelists said.

Samuel T., assistant professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University and a doctor at the Veterans Affairs System in Portland. “Burnout is a practice and an individual phenomenon,” says Edwards.

“Burnout is an organizational-level phenomenon that requires an organizational-level response,” Edwards said.

Many physicians do not feel as though their employers are concerned about their safety. More than one in three doctors (36%) say their workplace culture prioritizes their safety. survey It was released earlier this month by the Physicians Foundation.

Health care organizations need to provide their physicians with resources to get help, but doctors need to make sure what kind of help they get, said Amy Freeman, head of security for Hackinsack Meridian Health.

“It’s not just about finding the resources … it’s about making physicians aware of those resources, but more importantly making sure they have access to those resources,” Freeman said.

Many doctors are still concerned about seeking help for their mental health because they worry about the potentially harmful professional implications, including their licensing. Almost 4 in 10 were either afraid or knew someone would be wary of asking for help with licensing or insurance applications. At the behest of health advocates, some licensing boards have changed questions about mental health.

Panel members agreed that reducing the administrative burden on physicians would go a long way to helping them stay safe. A Medscape In the year A January 2022 study by Doctors found that bureaucratic aspects of health care are the top factors contributing to burnout.

“Our physicians are incredibly burdened and frustrated when it comes to documentation,” Freeman said.

Doctors are getting less job satisfaction, mostly because of burnout, AMA study More than half of doctors (57.5%) said they would choose to work as a doctor if they could do it again in 2020, compared to 72.2%.

Burdens on women, doctors of color

Women physicians are particularly suffering from burnout, the panelists agreed. More than two out of three women (68%) are experiencing burnout, compared to 58% of male doctors, according to the Physicians Foundation survey.

“We see a significant number of women burning out and leaving the workforce,” said Vineet Arora, MD, professor of medicine and dean of medical education at the University of Chicago Medical School.

Female doctors have faced a major obstacle in their work due to the Covid-19 pandemicAccording to a study published in JAMA Network Open. Female physicians were more likely to experience work conflicts and depressive symptoms, and they also handled more child care duties. Women were also more likely to have reduced hours.

Rachel Villanueva, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, said there is a clear lack of information on mental health and physicians of color. She explains that this “expands research and the importance of researchers of color,” as well as the need to find more researchers who are at least interested in the challenges faced by physicians of color.

Black doctors and doctors from other underrepresented groups face similar administrative tasks and long hours. However, physicians who are members of minority groups face “systemic racism,” as well as microaggressions and discrimination.

Doctors are ‘better’.

Lawrence Casalino, a professor of health care policy and research at Weill Cornell Medical College, said that while physicians are increasingly dealing with fatigue, there is no clear evidence that it affects patient care. Casalino was the author of a recent lead. Research in Health issues How physician burnout affects patient outcomes.

“At least in the short term, patients with burnout may experience better quality,” Casalino said. Careful physicians may work harder than other physicians and care more about their patients and may be more prone to burnout.

However, he added, “‘How long it can continue is another question.’

Physicians Foundation from Lorna Brain Foundation To raise awareness of the importance of protecting the mental health of doctors. They have also created a campaign to prevent physician suicide, “Vital Signs”.

Gary Price, president of the Physicians Foundation, said he was part of a sad brotherhood. He is one of many doctors who have lost a colleague.

“It’s undeniable that our doctors need and deserve better,” Price said.

Help is available.

Find resources to prevent physician suicide

988 suicide and crisis lifeline

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