Burnout up 5 percentage points for physicians

Forty-seven percent of physicians reported feeling burned out last year, up from 42 percent in 2020, according to Medscape's 2021 Physician Burnout & Depression Report published Jan. 21.

For the report, Medscape surveyed 13,069 physicians in 29 specialties from June 29-Sept. 26, 2021.

Four report findings:

1. Both male and female physicians reported higher rates of burnout in 2021 compared with the previous year. Fifty-one percent of women said they were burned out in 2020, compared to 56 percent in 2021. For men, the year-over-year increase was from 36 percent to 41 percent.

2. Emergency medicine physicians had the highest rates of burnout among all specialties in 2021 (60 percent), followed by critical care physicians (56 percent). In 2020, critical care physicians reported the highest burnout rates.

3. While 60 percent of physicians cited overwhelming bureaucratic demands as the largest contributor to their burnout, followed by a lack of respect from administrators, colleagues and staff (39 percent) and long hours (34 percent), 34 percent connected burnout to their own personality traits or individual frailty.

4. Forty-nine percent of physicians with depression said they can deal with it without professional help, but 43 percent said they would not seek help because of fears of disclosure to the medical board. 

To view the full report, click here.  

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