The burnout rate among U.S. physicians is at an all-time high, according to a survey of over 9,000 physicians from almost 30 specialties, recently released by Medscape Psychiatry.
Women physicians are especially likely to report the mix of mental exhaustion and cynicism toward work that combine to create a sense of burnout: 63% of women and 46% of men physicians reported being burnt out in 2022 (compared to 48% of women and 38% of men in 2018). This also mirrors accounts of a widening workforce gender gap in burnout.
This should frighten us all: Patients of burnt-out doctors are more likely to receive a wrong diagnosis, be prescribed a flawed treatment, and experience adverse drug reactions, studies on the topic show.
And doctors suffer, too: Emotional exhaustion is linked to a host of adverse health consequences, like anxiety, depression, and substance abuse, according to a review published by the Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior.