The findings of the recent Mayo Study are startling. From 2011 till October 2014, the percentage of physicians in the USA experiencing at least one of three major symptoms of job burnout has climbed form 45.5 to 54.4% as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). This is a medical emergency with the House of Medicine the patient.
Compared to the general working population in the USA, physicians work longer hours and suffer from higher rates of emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and overall burnout. The physicians with the highest rates of burnout were found in Emergency Medicine, Urology, Rehabilitation Medicine, Family Medicine, Orthopaedics, Radiology and Internal Medicine. However all specialities showed increased stress rates since 2011.
What is the cause? The drive for efficiency and cost cutting has lead to patients being treated as if on an assembly line and physicians being placed under increasing pressure to treat larger numbers of patients in a shorter time. Compassion has gone, team work has collapsed. This is largely driven by Government and corporations, the medical profession relatively weak in resisting it. It is time for some organised and effective response.