WHAT IS PHYSICIAN BURNOUT?
Physician burnout has been defined as a psychiatric illness characterized by a protracted reaction to chronic work pressures. It has been shown to affect a wide range of people in the practice of medicine. Burnout is shown in medical students and actual physicians. However, its impact extends much beyond that. As a result of the damage inflicted on the healthcare industry, various treatments have been developed. These preventive techniques have been developed at the individual, team, and organizational levels in the hopes of determining the best approach to combating this epidemic.
Burnout is a long-term stress reaction characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersdonalization, and a lack of self-esteem.
Burnout is a psychological syndrome that emerges as a prolonged response to chronic interpersonal stress on the job. The three key dimensions of this response are overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of cynicism, and detachment from the job. And a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.
Physician burnout is on the rise in the United States. According to a poll conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Society, 38% of U.S. physicians express indicators of burnout such as emotional tiredness and depersonalization at least once per week (APDMS).
Physician burnout is a public health crisis in many high-income countries because it puts severe pressure on the whole healthcare system. 80% of doctors in Britain are at high or very high risk of burnout, with junior physicians most at risk. Physicians face day-to-day difficulties in giving consideration to their patients, and burnout might be a result of expanded feelings of anxiety in exhausted physicians.
SYMPTOMS OF PHYSICIAN BURNOUT
Being a physician can be stressful. With so many patients’ lives in your hands, it’s easy to become exhausted and overwhelmed. If you have stress symptoms almost all of the time. That means you may be suffering from burnout. It is dangerous for both you and your patients.Loss of motivation.
- Feeling helpless, trapped or defeated.
- Feels separation from family, work etc.
- Increased cynical or negative outlook.
- Decreased satisfaction or sense of accomplishment.
- Feeling tired and drained most of the time.
- Tiredness that does not respond to adequate rest.
- Lowered immunity.
- Frequent headaches and muscles aches.
- Change in appetite or sleep habits.
- Withdrawal from responsibilities.
- Feeling Isolated from others.
- Skipping work or coming late and leaving early.
CAUSES OF PHYSICIAN BURNOUT
There are many reasons a physician might experience burnout. Here are some common causes of physician burnout.
- Completing too many administrative tasks
One of the leading causes of physician burnout is an overwhelming administrative burden. Healthcare providers did not enter the field to fill out paperwork and spend hours in front of a computer. As a result, when this occurs, providers are frequently overwhelmed and dissatisfied with the process. This could range from compliance documents to claims submission and more. Administrative tasks such as charting and other documentation can contribute to physician burnout.
- Working too many hours
Physicians are well-known for working long and dedicated hours. The problem is that, despite being some of the most intelligent and educated people in society, they are still human. The long and exhausting hours that providers are sometimes required to work can quickly lead to physician burnout. These hours are sometimes unavoidable due to the volume of work that must be completed on a given day.
- Team Refusal
A common issue in the medical community is that different teams do not have high regard for one another. This could include administrators, employers, colleagues, or staff not showing high regard for their physicians in the workplace, and vice versa. If providers are asked to work long hours and do so much else on top of patient care, they may feel underappreciated and experience physician burnout.
Physicians spend the greater part of their time getting things done and doing administrative work, with only 27% of their time spent on direct clinical visits with patients. One researcher said the industry needs to refocus on physicians. To engage patients, physicians must face computer screens.
There can be many causes of physician burnout. It is based on the physician’s overall mood and personality as well as extenuating circumstances, including the area of medicine in which the physician practices. Personal characteristics, such as the tendency to be critical of oneself or a focus on perfectionism at work, can hasten burnout.
However, the majority of these factors relate to the job itself or the way the healthcare organization is run.
HOW TO DECREASE PHYSICIAN BURNOUT?
To overcome physicians’ reluctance to seek assistance, hospital and medical practice administrators should be prepared to give assistance when a colleague exhibits indications of burnout. It is important to remember and sometimes to remind the physician that a burnt out physician isn’t bad or weak.
Carve out time for exercise
As little as 30 minutes a day of physical activity can help boost physicians’ mood. It relaxes their mind. It maintains a healthy weight. It helps to improve their sleep.
Read something Non-Medical
Even if physicians enjoy catching up on the latest medical news in their spare time. They should spend 10 minutes engrossed in a good novel or magazine. It helps them feel refreshed.
Focus on family time
Even if physicians work long hours, make time to spend time with their spouse or play with children. It helps to combat burnout.
Start a hobby
Spending time on outside endeavors is linked to professional satisfaction.
Delegate or set limits
If possible, delegate tasks or speak with colleagues about work load distribution.
To conclude, physician burnout certainly has the potential to hurt not just clinicians, but also their organizations. Proper planning, processes, and administrative work flows within a practice are crucial in reducing physician overburdening.