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AMA: Many Physicians Today Are Burnt Out

Tracey Romero • Wed, November 8th, 2017

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According to new research from the American Medical Association (AMA), one in five physicians want to reduce clinical hours in the next year due to burnout and dissatisfaction with electronic health records.

The study, “Professional Satisfaction and the Career Plans of US Physicians”, by experts at the American Medical Association (AMA), Mayo Clinic and Stanford University published in the November 2017 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, also discovered that about 1 in 50 physicians intend to leave medicine and change careers in the next two years.

According to a press release,The research sheds light on a troubling correlation between the career plans of U.S. physicians and the growing problem of burnout, technology dissatisfaction and administrative fatigue among physicians.”

“An energized, engaged, and resilient physician workforce is essential to achieving national health goals. Yet burnout is more common among physicians than other U.S. workers, and that gap is increasing as mounting obstacles to patients care contribute to emotional fatigue, depersonalization and loss of enthusiasm among physicians,” said AMA President David O. Barbe, M.D., M.H.A. in the release.

“The AMA is urging Congress, hospitals, and health plans to recognize the coming crisis as an early warning sign of health system dysfunction. America’s physicians are the canary in the coal mine.”

The researchers calculated that if 30% of physicians left medicine in the next two years, this would mean that there will be 4,759 fewer physicians to treat patients. They say this is equivalent to losing the graduating classes of 19 U.S. medical schools in each of the next two years.

According to the release, to combat the burnout and dissatisfaction, the AMA is offering resources and tools to physicians through its STEPS Forward module, a collection of practice improvement strategies for physicians.

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