Physician Burnout Becomes a National Epidemic

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Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers discuss the dangers of physician burnout. Medical errors continue to occur in this country at an alarming rate. In fact, studies show that up to 200,000 fatalities are caused by medical errors each year. Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that physician burnout is responsible for a significant percentage of these fatalities. The study, published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that physician burnout appears to be equally, if not more responsible, for medical errors than unsafe medical work conditions.

Researchers sent surveys to all the physicians in the United States who currently have an active practice, of which a total of 6,695 responded. Based on the responses to the survey, researchers found the following results:

  • Fifty-five percent reported symptoms of burnout.
  • Ten percent admitted that they made one or more major medical errors during the previous three months, which was consistent with published research.

According to an instructor in pediatric critical care medicine at Stanford, physicians who reported symptoms of burnout had more than twice the odds of medical errors. In addition, the researchers found that low safety grades in work units were associated with up to four times the odds of medical error. The director of the Stanford WellMD Center and associate dean of the School of Medicine stated that physician burnout and work unit safety are independently related to the risk of medical errors.

Reversing the Epidemic

There are several studies that indicate how serious the problem of physician burnout has become. This recent study highlights the fact that physician burnout can compromise quality of care, patient safety, turnover rates, and patient satisfaction. According to directors, healthcare organizations need to take more of a holistic and systems-based approach to addressing physician burnout. It is the only way to stop the epidemic and provide the quality healthcare that patients deserve.

Even medical work units that had extremely safe rankings had triple the rate of medical errors if physicians reported high levels of burnout. To maximize the safety and quality of patient care, it is imperative that we identify the issues that lead to physician burnout and take proactive steps to maximize safety and quality of medical care.

Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Medical Errors

If you have been injured, or your health has been compromised while under the care of a physician who showed signs of burnout, it is in your best interest to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We will investigate the details of your case and determine whether your physician was negligent in any way. Our skilled and dedicated team will obtain the maximum financial compensation for your injuries and ensure that your legal rights are always protected. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.