AMA Alliance Guide to Physician Burnout and How to Effect Change
What is Physician Burnout?
Physician stress, burnout and suicide are at crisis levels in the medical community. Marked by feelings of cynicism, loss of interest in work and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment among other indicators, recent studies have shown that approximately 46-50% of all physicians classify themselves as showing at least some symptoms of burnout. While many factors contribute to an atmosphere of stress, most clinicians point to increased regulations and technology, in combination with decreased opportunities for direct patient care, as the primary causes for their overall sense of dissatisfaction. However, not all the news is grim: according to a 2018 Medscape report, over three quarters of physicians would choose medicine again as their career, especially those in front line practices such as primary care, although perhaps not their current specialty.
What are the dangers of burnout?
Physicians suffering from burnout may become depressed and turn to self-medication or other extremes for relief. If your physician is in crisis, seek confidential assistance from your family’s personal doctor, employer or health system’s resources, or your state’s physician health or assistance programs before it is too late.
How can I tell if my favorite physician is experiencing burnout?
The AMA Alliance, in conjunction with trusted experts in the field, has developed a quiz specifically targeted to physician families.
After the quiz, click here to see what your score means.
To learn more about AMA Alliance and get involved, please consider joining the organization.
Find our more in our past issues of Physician Family Magazine
As part of the Steps Forward program, the AMA has developed resources for physicians to enhance their resiliency and prevent burnout. These two modules have been recommended by Dr. Michael Tutty at the AMA as tools for our members and their favorite physician. As an added bonus, the physician may be able to acquire CME by completing the online modules, free on the AMA’s website.
- AMA’s Steps Forward Guide to Improving Physician Resiliency
- AMA’s Steps Forward Preventing Physician Burnout Module
- Five Reasons Physicians Are Less Likely To Seek Support
- How To Avoid Physician Burnout by PRMS, Inc.
- Physician Burnout: It’s Not You, It Is Your Medical Specialty
- Treating Children While Away At College: Could You? Should You?
- First National Physician Suicide Awareness Day
Burnout and Satisfaction With Work-Life Balance Among US Physicians Relative to the General US Population Shanafelt, Tait, et al.
Medscape Physician Lifestyle Report 2015, pub January 26, 2015
Advice Physicians Should Follow. But Don’t. Emily Gibson, MD, as published on KevinMD.com, October 28, 2015