AMA: Watch out for these symptoms of physician burnout

Burnout is a widespread issue among today's practicing physicians. One survey found 65 percent of clinicians have thought about changing careers because it is no longer rewarding for them.

Another survey found more than half of physicians experience burnout in specialties like critical care and emergency medicine.

However, there are warning signs of burnout, according to Mark Linzer, MD, director of the division of general internal medicine at Minneapolis-based Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, who has studied physician burnout since 1996.

Dr. Linzer shared several warning signs of burnout with the American Medical Association. According to Dr. Linzer, physicians need to assess their environments. If it is chaotic, and they cannot control their busy schedules, or physicians find they don't agree with the values of the leadership, they are likely to burnout. Even physicians with high stress tolerance are at risk of burnout. In fact, according to Dr. Linzer, they are 15 times more likely to burnout if they consistently work in high stress environment.

If physicians find themselves carrying an excessive emotional burden, or that they are unable to participate in family time or personal time, it may be time to take a step back and address the issue.  


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