Depressed emergency medicine physicians may take it out on patients, survey shows

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Most depressed emergency physicians say that they are "easily exasperated with patients" as a result of their depression, according to a new Medscape report.

For the report, Medscape polled 15,181 physicians from more than 29 specialties between June 25 and Sept. 19, 2019. Responses were then broken down based on specialty.

Three percent of emergency physicians reported being depressed and another 14 percent reported being depressed and burned out.

When asked how their depressed affected their relationships with their patients, emergency medicine physicians responded:

• I am easily exasperated with patients: 57 percent
• I am less motivated to be careful with taking patient notes (for example, medical history, filling out EHR notes): 28 percent
• I made errors that I might not ordinarily make: 20 percent

Thirty-three percent said that their depression did not affect their interaction with patients.

Note: Respondents could select more than one answer.

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