Physician Burnout: What is it and How to Prevent it

Updated: Feb 13

In the US, physician burnout grew about 20 percent between 2011 and 2014, according to researchers writing in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Burnout typically involves physical and emotional exhaustion, usually paired with feelings of reduced motivation, increased cynicism, ineffectiveness, or discouragement. Common causes of physician burnout include heavy workloads, regulatory burdens, a lack of support from workplace leadership, and high patient or societal expectations.

The individual effects can differ, but burnout may often lead to:

  1. Physical symptoms, such as headaches and gastrointestinal distress

  2. Stress, anxiety, and depression

  3. Increased risk of substance abuse

  4. Thoughts of suicide

  5. Difficulties with personal relationships

Left unchecked, physician burnout can also affect patients and healthcare organizations. Burnout may cause administrative errors, staff turnover, lower patient satisfaction, and medical errors. This not only increases costs but also puts patients at risk.

How to Reduce the Risk of Physician Burnout

If you are a physician struggling with burnout, don’t suffer alone. Reach out to a loved one, friend, mentor, or spiritual leader. A therapist or counselor can help you manage your mental health long-term. Don’t neglect your physical health—follow a healthy diet, exercise, and avoid drugs, tobacco, or excessive alcohol.

Health organizations can also help reduce physician burnout. Options include offering stress management workshops, flexible scheduling, and workplace mentorship.

Whenever possible, administrative tasks should be assigned to non-medical staff. This lets physicians engage in more patient care and less paperwork, which can improve job satisfaction. It is also important to make sure you are properly balancing your work with the rest of your life, as detailed in this article.

Does Your Radiology Workflow Prevent Burnout?

If you’re struggling with burnout at your radiology practice, your current workflow may not be helping. From capturing individual medical images to a full enterprise imaging solution, Novarad’s innovative approach helps you take advantage of the most cutting-edge technology to help make both providers and patients happier.

Contact Novarad today to find out more, or schedule a demo.

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