You Doctor Could be Burned Out, Key Information for Patients

In a recent study, approximately 33-50+% of physicians reported experiencing some form of burnout. What do this mean for patients? Not only is it possible your doctor is burned out, it’s actually probable.

According to a U.S News World & Report article, “…research increasingly finds that burnout may also affect the quality and safety of treatment patients receive. All the components of clinician burnout are, of course, decidedly negative, but the potential impact goes beyond that.” The article goes on to state “Burnout can … threaten patient safety and care quality when depersonalization leads to poor interactions with patients and when burned-out physicians suffer from impaired attention, memory and executive function.”

Medical error kills hundreds of thousands of people each year in United States alone, and millions more are injured due to preventable medical errors. Preventable infections, medication errors, and preventable falls are amongst the leading causes of medical malpractice related injuries and deaths in the U.S.

Although New York City houses some of the best hospitals in the world, New York State pays out more in medical malpractice suits than any other state in the U.S.

So what can New Yorkers and patients throughout the country do to prevent becoming a victim of medical malpractice? Know the signs of physician burnout:

  1. Your doctor seems drained
  2. Your doctor is cynical, negative, detached, and or uncaring
  3. Your doctor does not offer quality care

It is important to keep in mind that nurses are susceptible to burnout too. A recent survey found:

  • 63% of respondents experienced burnout from their jobs
  • 70% of night-shift nurses reported they had a one point or another driven home drowsy
  • 20% reported their employers did not offer a fatigue management program
  • 42% of respondents reported they were unable to take a break during shifts to eat lunch or dinner

If you suffered the consequences of a preventable medical error or medical negligence, contact us today.