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Monday
Jul092018

Survey: Doctor Burnout Contributing to Medical Errors

More than half of American doctors are burned out, a new national survey suggests, and those doctors are more likely to make medical mistakes.

The poll asked nearly 6,700 clinic and hospital physicians about medical errors, workplace safety, and symptoms of workplace burnout, fatigue, depression and suicidal thoughts.

More than 10 percent said they had committed at least one significant medical mistake in the three months leading up to the survey, and investigators concluded that those suffering from burnout were twice as likely to make a medical error.

"Burnout is a reversible work-related syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion and/or cynicism, often featuring decreased effectiveness," explained lead study author Dr. Daniel Tawfik. He is an instructor in pediatric critical care at Stanford University's School of Medicine.

"Although not unique to physicians, it is particularly common in occupations like medicine that feature high levels of stress and intense interactions with people," he said.

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