Physician burnout is on the rise, and the increase is sharpest among younger primary doctors. A new study conducted by the Commonwealth Fund found that over half of medical practitioners under the age of 55 have reported feeling burned out or stressed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the rise in stressed doctors. Physicians report taking on more work as a result of the pandemic. This has a negative impact on patient care. During the pandemic, roughly a third of doctors in the U.S. who are struggling with stress and burnout reported providing worse care to patients.
Younger Physician Burnout is a Worldwide Phenomenon
Burnout among young physicians is not limited to the United States. Doctors in ten different countries, including Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the U.S., took part in the Commonwealth Fund study.
Some countries fared better than others. The Netherlands and Switzerland experienced lower rates of physician burnout than other countries. However, this problem affected every country studied. In all ten nations, over half of doctors reported a heftier workload since the beginning of the pandemic. However, burnout is primarily harming younger physicians. Half of the doctors under 55 in all ten nations reported burnout and exhaustion. However, only 39% of doctors over 55 reported burnout and exhaustion.
How to Combat Physician Burnout
Young physicians, who are more likely to suffer from burnout, will make up a larger share of the medical workforce in the coming years. Older doctors are more likely to retire in the next one to three years, leaving young ones to take their place. With the medical sector facing widespread worker shortages, it is essential that young doctors do not leave the field due to stress.
The good news is that young doctors are more likely to seek professional help for their mental health challenges than older doctors. Additionally, industry leaders are developing solutions to combat physician burnout. The American Hospital Association developed a plan to improve healthcare worker recruitment and retention. It rests on three pillars: creative recruitment and retention, providing tools to help clinicians succeed in various situations, and reminding clinicians of why patient care matters.
However, more must be done. Health systems must recognize and address burnout among providers by listening to employees, ensuring they are satisfied at their jobs, and giving them the skills to practice self-care.
American Medical Compliance (AMC) is a leader in the industry for compliance, billing, and HR solutions. Learn more about combating physician burnout by taking AMC’s Work Stress and Mental Health Training for Healthcare Providers course today. Visit https://americanmedicalcompliance.com/ for more information.
RevCycle Intelligence (2022, November 18). Younger Primary Care Physicians Seeing High Levels of Burnout, Stress. Retrieved from: https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/younger-primary-care-physicians-seeing-high-levels-of-burnout-stress.