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Medical Malpractice: Physician Burnout

A recent study finds that burnout is fairly common among physicians, and this proves troubling for many patients. Doctors are being overworked, and this can lead to problems with misdiagnosis and incorrect procedures.

The Study

The study, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at 7,288 doctors in June 2011. These doctors filled out surveys on their feelings of burnout and whether they believe it affected their personal work lives. The survey was called the Maslach Burnout Inventory and asked 22 questions relating to burnout in the workplace.

The exploration studied whether doctors had feelings of cynicism or loss of enthusiasm. The survey asked physicians about their thoughts on self worth and personal accomplishment. The results were startling.

The research demonstrates that 45.8 percent of doctors have at least one symptom of burnout related to the workplace. Emotional exhaustion is the highest of these symptoms. Burnout has been on the rise over the last ten years, and the trend is likely to continue.

Why Physicians are Overworked

These doctors are suffering from burnout for good reason. Studies show that doctors are typically working an average of 10 hours more per week than others. Physicians have a difficult time with work-life balance and often feel like their personal lives are suffering. This is the main contribution to burnout.

Dangers to Patients

When doctors are burnt out, they are unable to maintain focus. This is alarming because their full attention should be attributed to what they are doing. On a large scale, the amount of danger to patients is troubling. An unfocused doctor may perform surgery incorrectly or may accidentally prescribe the wrong treatment for an illness. Patients are becoming more and more at risk and should always remain alert and ask questions.

When Medical Malpractice is Suspected

When something goes wrong at the hospital, those that make an error must be held responsible.

If you suspect that you have been harmed by poor medical treatment, talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer is a step in the right direction. These attorneys will work to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Recovery in medical malpractice lawsuits may include missed time at work, medical expenses and pain and suffering. With a little help, you can look forward to your road to recovery.