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 burn out?
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?
Find out more in our past issues of Physician Family Magazine
Steps Forward Program
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
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
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