Health and Wellness

5 Things to Know About Physician Burn Out Now

Forty-two percent of physicians reported feeling burned out last year, according to Medscape’s 2021 Physician Burnout Report published Jan. 25. 

For the report, Medscape surveyed 12,339 physicians in more than 29 specialties from Aug. 30 to Nov. 5, 2020.

Five report findings:

1. Sixty-nine percent of physicians said they were somewhat or very happy in 2020 before the pandemic started. This figure fell to 49 percent during the pandemic. 

2. While female physicians have historically reported higher rates of burnout than their male peers, this gap grew in 2020. Fifty-one percent of women said they were burned out, compared to 36 percent of men.

3. Critical care physicians had the highest rates of burnout among all specialties, at 51 percent. In 2019, urologists reported the highest burnout rates.

4. Seventy-nine percent of physicians said their burnout began before the COVID-19 pandemic.

5. The three most common contributing factors to burnout that physicians cited were too many bureaucratic tasks (58 percent); spending too many hours at work (37 percent); and lack of response from leaders or colleagues (37 percent). 

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