Physician Burnout Statistics are Staggering
A newly released Medscape report found physician burnout has increased to 53 percent- up 6 percent since 2021. The recent Medscape report titled, ‘I Cry but No One Cares’: Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2023, – surveyed 9100 physicians across 29 specialties between June and Oct 2022. In the report burnout was defined as, “long term unresolved job- related stress leading to exhaustion, cynicism, detachment from job responsibilities and lacking a sense of personal accomplishment.” Among the major findings highlighted in the report are the following:
- Female physicians were more likely to report burnout at 63 percent, compared to male physicians.
- Physicians with the highest levels of burnout were- Emergency medicine docs at 65 percent, Internal Medicine docs at 60 percent, and pediatricians at 57 percent.
- Nearly 80 percent of physicians described their burnout as moderate to severe. Volume of bureaucratic demands was cited as one of the major reasons followed by lack of respect from co- workers.
With National Women Physicians Day just around the corner on Feb 3rd, these numbers are sobering. The great resignation has hit physicians as well. Many are changing to non clinical options, pivoting, adapting, cutting down hours or leaving medicine completely.
When It Comes to Physician Burnout, We All Have a Choice
Unfortunately, many physicians have a scarcity mindset versus an abundance mindset. We get trapped with limiting beliefs – due to a combination of factors – including our personal financial obligations, student loan debt, non compete clauses and no control over our time. Many of us who are employed by large entities, feel like a ‘cog in a wheel’ and yet, we keep going.
I believe that we always have a choice. We can find flexibility and have autonomy over our careers. There are supportive physician-only online spaces. To my physician colleagues, please do not suffer in silence. Only 7 percent of those who apply to medical school, get accepted. We can do hard things.
“No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams”- Maya Mendoza.
Corinne Rao, MD
Legacy Physicians, LLC
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