Snapshot of What Physician Burnout Really Means

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Just how serious is physician burnout? Lisa Ellis, MD, chief medical officer at Medical College of Virginia Physicians (MCVP) at Virginia Commonwealth University, provided some startling statistics at the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting (ACP 2017) in San Diego, California.

Physician burnout appears to be getting more serious with the emergence of studies and statistics looking at just that.

Lisa Ellis, MD, chief medical officer at Medical College of Virginia Physicians (MCVP) at Virginia Commonwealth University, called attention to the matter at the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting (ACP 2017) in San Diego, California.

“We have statistics that show us that not only do we have things like people retiring early, people leaving their practice, people producing less, people actually trying to get out of patient work,” Ellis told MD Magazine, “which is the last thing that you would ever expect any of our physicians to say is that I need to try to find something that I can do that gets me out of seeing patients so much. So there’s something really wrong with that.”

Physician burnout is also correlating with increasing patient safety errors, as well as lower quality and patient satisfaction. The worst of them all, Ellis said, is that burnout is being associated with suicide, especially in female providers — who are 2 or 3 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.

>>> More Coverage from ACP 2017

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