Physicians Often Don't Address Their Burnout

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More than half of physicians experience burnout, and many do not seek treatment for burnout.
More than half of physicians experience burnout, and many do not seek treatment for burnout.

HealthDay News — More than half of physicians experience burnout, and many do not seek treatment for burnout, according to a report published in the American Medical Association's AMA Wire.

Noting that the same traits that help physicians excel at their profession are likely to make them experience burnout but that many doctors don't seek treatment, the report offers five reasons why physicians are less likely to seek treatment for burnout.

According to the article, physicians are less likely to seek help because of stigma, which could be related to concerns that having a history of mental illness could make it harder for them to obtain licensure. 

In order to improve access to mental health care, the AMA recently adopted a policy recommending limiting the requirements for disclosure of health conditions. The "physician personality" also accounts for not treating burnout; those who are most dedicated to their work are at greatest risk of being consumed by it. In addition, in recent decades, physicians have experienced busier schedules, higher productivity expectations, and more time spent documenting, leaving less time to interact with other physicians. Physicians also seem to have a survival mentality, believing that things will improve when they have finished their current stage.

"Physicians often defer pleasure by being reluctant to give themselves credit for their abilities and accolades. There is a level of self-doubt that permeates any physician and exceeds that of most other people," according to the article.

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