According to Medscape’s 2015 Physician Lifestyle Report, 46 percent of physicians believe they are in the state of burnout. Within that vast majority, the highest rates of burnout included emergency medicine and critical care physicians. With bureaucracy, insufficient income, and computerization, U.S. physicians suffer more burnout than any other American profession.
The Medscape report provides a deeper look into how burnout may affect a provider’s lifestyle choices with responses from approximately 20,000 U.S. physicians.
Here are some excerpts:
Vacation Time and Volunteering
The United States is one of the few countries in the world that does not view vacation time as mandatory despite studies suggesting that time off can reduce stress. More than 36 percent of burned-out physicians take two weeks or less each year compared to the 27 percent of physicians who are not experiencing burnout. Volunteer programs for providers are thought to restore one’s passion for medicine. However, according to Medscape, 37 percent of physicians experiencing burnout reported to having never volunteered.
Learn how to make time for vacation with advice from Dr. Linda Girgis.
Physician Burnout vs. Your Health
It is part of a healthcare professional’s responsibility to a patient to promote good health. However, high levels of stress and burnout can take a toll on a provider’s well-being. In the Medscape report, 54 percent of burned-out physicians reported having very good to excellent health compared to 70 percent of their non–burned-out colleagues. Sixty-eight percent of non–burned out physicians and 56 percent of burned-out physicians reported exercising at least twice a week. Twelve percent of physicians who were not burned out and 17 percent of those who were avoided exercise altogether. Among the burned-out group, 46 percent admitted to being overweight to obese compared to the 39 percent who were not burned out.
Locum tenens placements offer a number of benefits that can help reduce the professional hassles that contribute to a pessimistic view of medicine. Providers have the ability to choose when and where they want to practice and are not burdened with the administrative responsibilities that come with private practice. This allows physicians to adequately devote time to caring for patients.