A shocking percentage of doctors are burned out now more than ever, new report finds

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Physicians have been reporting burnout for years, and new research shows they’re more stressed than ever. InCrowd surveyed over 600 doctors about burnout, and their findings were concerning.

  • Primary care physicians reported experiencing burnout at rates of 79%, and specialists reported burnout at rates of 57% (making it a total 68% across all specialties.)
  • Burnout is highest among younger physicians – those in their 30s and 40s, who report burnout at 74%.

Part of a larger trend

This new info is consistent with a larger trend of physician burnout. A well-known Mayo Clinic study from 2018 showed that 54% of physicians reported signs of burnout in a survey.

Earlier this year, a survey of 4,300 British doctors by the British Medical Association found that 40% were succumbing to anxiety, depression, or stress; also, 80% were at risk for burnout, especially younger doctors.

How workplaces help – or don’t

According to the survey, only 25% of doctors report that their workplaces effectively deal with physician burnout. Hospitals are slightly less good at addressing it (20%) than private practices (27%.) Doctors say the ways their workplaces appropriately manage burnout include improving workflow and reducing their administrative duties (46%), providing flexible schedules (45%), and offering wellness initiatives (41%).

Over half of the doctors said that what they’d really prefer is increased support staffing (66%), mandatory vacation time of half-days (57%), and reduced patient number of patients (56%). These are the solutions that doctors say have the potential to help mitigate burnout.

While one primary care physician in private practice said that their institution made an effort to address burnout: “rewards, lunches, social events, being flexible with work/life balance and supporting personal interests,” your mileage may vary.

A full 53% said their workplace addressed burnout with a “complete lack of action” and no acknowledgment of the problem.

“The amount of work required of physicians keeps increasing,” said another primary care physician in private practice. “We deal with long hours, lack of recognition for hard work, no compensation for phone calls or time spent filling out tedious paperwork, decreasing compensation, increasing regulation,” and so on.

The next generation?

The once-prestigious profession is quickly losing its shine. More than a third (34%) of doctors would not recommend their professions to young family members, with 32% saying that it was just not worth the sacrifices – the overwork, poor work-life balance, financial investment,  emotional, time, or otherwise.