Burnout has become as much a part of medicine as the stethoscope, with too many doctors feeling overworked, over-regulated, and underappreciated. The result is physicians retiring early, changing careers, or losing their love of medicine at a time when there is already a shortage of primary care physicians.
In the Medical Economics 2019 Physician Burnout Survey, 92 percent of respondents indicated they have felt burned out from practicing medicine at some point in their career, 68 percent said they are burned out right now, and 73 percent said they have thought about quitting medicine. Despite the prevalence and scope of the problem, only 13 percent plan to seek or have sought professional counseling.
Solutions are elusive, because the causes can vary by specialty, location, or practice, and doctors rarely have any control over contributing factors like regulations or EHR design. But that doesn’t mean all doctors have given up or are willing to tolerate the status quo. In fact, as burnout has become increasingly common among physicians, so, too, has the fight against it.
Here are the stories of seven health professionals and what they are doing to battle burnout in the profession.