Tonawanda News

Web Extras

August 22, 2012

Almost half of doctors say they're burned out as workloads rise

About 1 in 2 doctors are burned out, showing signs of emotional exhaustion and little interest in work as patient loads increase, U.S. researchers found.

Doctors working in emergency, family and internal medicine were the most likely to feel drained, according to the study released Tuesday in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers said burnout also was tied to long hours, with 37 percent of physicians working more than 60 hours a week.

The number of doctors reporting feeling burned out is surprising and troubling, said Tait Shanafelt, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic and lead study author. He said the trend may cause physicians to quit or reduce their workload just as demand for doctors is increasing with the aging population. The issue may get worse as 32 million Americans are expected to get health insurance by 2014 under a new U.S. law, increasing the number of people seeking medical care, he said.

"Right at a time when we are trying to provide care to people who are uninsured and projecting workforce shortages we are seeing this burnout rate creep in, which may cause physicians to reduce workloads and consider early retirement," Shanafelt said.

He added that burnout has also been linked to medical errors and worse patient care in previous studies.

The study found that 46 percent of doctors show at least one sign of being worn out. Shanafelt said the burnout was about 10 percent higher than in the population as a whole. Unlike with other professions, more education isn't linked to a lower risk of feeling drained among doctors, the study found.

Researchers collected responses from 7,288 doctors across all practice areas to measure levels of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and sense of professional accomplishment. The data was compared with surveys of the general population.

There was no increased rate of depression or suicide among doctors compared with the general population, a sign that the burnout is specific to the work environment, Shanafelt said. He said more research is needed to determine proper treatment.

Text Only
Web Extras
  • Screen shot 2013-08-08 at 10.10.12 AM.png VIDEO: Dead shark found in New York subway train

    A dead shark was spotted on a train headed to Queens. It was still wet and had blood in its mouth. The sighting coincides with Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.

    August 8, 2013 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • 0805-bees.jpg Ga. man survives more than 1,000 bee stings

    A Georgia man survived being stung more than 1,000 times by bees, which then attacked emergency responders who came to help, according to the man’s stepson.

    August 7, 2013 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • county-clean-fatberg-image.jpg Gross! 16.5-ton glob of fat removed from sewer system

    If you've ever wondered what happens when you ignore those warnings about pouring grease down the drain, residents of one London suburb have found the disgusting answer. It's a 16.5-ton, bus-sized glob of fat, known as a "fatberg."

    August 6, 2013 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • 0805-fiery-truck-crash.jpg Video shows semi truck going airborne, bursting into flames

    Amateur video captured a fiery crash in this Indiana town, when a semi truck went airborne over a highway interchange and burst into flames.

    August 6, 2013 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • iStock_000007205767XSmall.jpg Are growing pains real?

    Are growing pains real? If so, what causes them? And how do I make sure my kid never has them, because I really don't need another reason for screamy 3 a.m. wake-ups?

    August 6, 2013 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • screenshot best man.jpg VIDEO: Dying boy plays best man at parents' wedding

    Looking dapper in a tiny tan pinstripe suit and orange shirt, a 2-year-old boy with only weeks to live served as the best man for his parents' Pennsylvania wedding.

    August 6, 2013 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • Screen shot 2012-12-05 at 4.31.28 PM.png VIDEO: According to trainers dogs can drive too

    Three dogs in New Zealand have been taught to drive a car. After weeks of indoor training in how to change gear, brake and steer, the canines have finally been allowed behind the wheel of a real car - with a little help from their handlers.

    December 7, 2012 1 Photo

  • HEALTH EXERCISE51.jpg Compression garments: So, does tight mean right?

    It seems that you can't head to a gym or run down your favorite trail these days without finding someone wearing compression garments.

    December 6, 2012 1 Photo

  • earth-at-night.jpg VIDEO: NASA's night view of Earth

    Weeks of work went into collecting pictures of the entire planet to create a remarkable look at night on Earth.

    December 6, 2012 1 Photo

  • 1376693_51096520.jpg Hospital incentives help babies determine own birth dates

    The evidence has been in for some time. Scheduling births may be convenient for physicians, hospitals and expectant parents, but it generally isn't good for the health of mothers and children.

    December 6, 2012 1 Photo