more common in doctors with burnout

A recent study published in The BMJ concluded that there is strong evidence linking physician burnout with poor performance and stability of healthcare organizations. They concluded, after conducting 170 observational studies with 239,246 physicians, that burnout contributes to professional disengagement and reduced quality of patient care. It is believed to double the risk of medical malpractice in patients.

The results show that among all health care professionals with burnout, those who work in hospitals are more likely to make mistakes with their patients than those who do so in health centers. Among them they point directly to younger faculty (located in the age range below 30 years). On the other hand, they found a weaker relationship between burnout and negligence in physicians over the age of 50.

To turn the situation around, the researchers of this study conclude that healthcare organizations must invest time and effort in implementing strategies based on mitigating physician burnout in all specialties. They also insist that special attention be paid to professionals in emergency medicine and the doctors residents.

Burnout is common among doctors, even reaching global levels. In the United States, four out of 10 doctors report burnout, and in the United Kingdom, a third of doctors in training they report feeling it to a high or very high degree. In low- and middle-income countries, according to this report, burnout ranges from 2.5 percent to 87.9 percent. He also points out that the Covid-19 pandemic has created new causes of stress dangerous working conditions and higher burdens, which further exacerbated this sentiment among physicians.

Professional dissatisfaction in medicine

Burnout usually disrupts work-life balance, causing feelings of professional dissatisfaction. All this leads to a lower quality of patient careaccording to this study, which examined the relationship between physician burnout worldwide and their professional commitment (focusing on job satisfaction, career choice regret, professional development, loss of productivity, and turnover intention) and quality of patient care (focusing on patient safety incidents, poor professional standards and patient satisfaction).

Physician burnout was associated with double the risk of security incidents compared to a non-patient safety incident, based on measures of general exhaustion, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal achievement. It was also associated with a more than two-fold decline in professionalism as measured by general exhaustionemotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal fulfillment.

In addition, it was associated with up to threefold reductions in patient satisfaction compared to patients who were satisfied on measures of general exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment.

This report shows that physician burnout quadruples the odds of experiencing it unhappy with work and with the three possibilities of thinking about giving up. It also triples the risk of feeling regret about choosing a chosen university career.

Physicians specializing in emergency medicine, as well as those in intensive care units, according to the data resulting from this report, have lower job satisfaction compared to internal medicine. Coincidentally, the youngest doctors in these areas of specialization (under 30) are the ones most likely to be involved in medical malpractice.

Flowchart of the examined associations of physician burnout with professional commitment and quality of patient care. Results evaluated in the analysis are in yellow or red. Results in red highlight the potentially higher risk of the outcome compared to results in yellow (which may be less serious to the physician and healthcare system).

What is burnout, what does it affect and how to solve it

Burnout is defined as a work-related syndrome that includes three dimensions. First, emotional exhaustion, which is the main dimension of individual stress which refers to the feelings of overload and exhaustion of emotional and physical resources. Second, on depersonalization, which represents the motivational and interpersonal distancing dimension of burnout. Finally, feelings of diminished personal accomplishment, the self-esteem dimension of burnout that refers to feeling of incompetence and underperformance in the workplace.

Now more than ever, effective interventions for reducing the number of doctors, as health systems around the world face a crisis. This report proposes as a solution targeted interventions for burnout subgroups of physicians with professional problems or adverse patient care experiences, taking into account also their reciprocal relationships between burnout, professional engagement and quality of patient care. For example, physicians experiencing burnout may have less time or commitment to optimize care for their patients, may take more unnecessary risks, or may lack accountability.

Conversely, recognizing poor quality care can lead to burnout, which in turn can forced doctors to resign. This process can often be called secondary trauma, especially in relation to sentimental events or major security incidents.

Although it may contain statements, data or notes from health institutions or professionals, the information contained in Medical Writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend that the reader consult a health professional for all health-related questions.

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