50% of female physicians say they're burned out, report finds

Forty-four percent of physicians said they experience burnout, according to a recent report by Medscape.

For its 2019 "National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report," Medscape surveyed more than 15,000 physicians in more than 29 specialties about their degree of burnout and depression, coping mechanisms, and if they had ever considered suicide during their career.

Five findings from the report:

1. Physicians who identified as being among the most burned out included urologists (54 percent), neurologists (53 percent), and those working in physical medicine and rehabilitation (52 percent).

2. Half of all female physicians surveyed said they were burned out, compared to 39 percent of male physicians.

3. The majority (59 percent) of respondents said the primary cause of burnout was too many bureaucratic tasks like charting and paperwork, followed by spending too many hours at work (34 percent) and the increasing reliance on technology, like EHRs (32 percent).

4. Almost half (48 percent) of physicians use exercise to cope with burnout.

5. While the majority of physicians surveyed said they have never felt suicidal (80 percent), 14 percent of respondents said they have had thoughts of suicide, but never attempted. Medscape reports that roughly one physician per day commits suicide in the U.S., and the number of physician suicides, roughly 28 to 40 per 100,000 people, is more than twice the average of the general population.

To access the full report, click here.

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