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How the healthcare system may cause harm - Part XII

Most in New York City likely picture their doctors as dedicated clinicians committed to helping advance the science of healthcare and improve the quality of lives of their patients. While most likely do continue to have their patients' best interests at heart, the potential for experiencing burnout is present in every profession. The results of a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic and shared by the AARP Bulletin showed that 54 percent of doctors surveyed displayed at least some degree of burnout. The trouble is that doctors having difficulty giving their all to their work may pose a danger to patients.

Healthcare industry insiders report that provider burnout, while once only an afterthought, has now become a serious concern. There may not be one single reason behind this trend, but rather a combination working in concert to cause doctors and other clinicians to hate their jobs. Some may point to the recent transition from paper documentation to electronic medical records that's been mandated throughout the industry. This has caused doctors to change the way they work, and possibly prompted some to question whether evolving with the times is actually worth it.

Others may cite the observed rise in patients seeking care as a reason doctors are feeling fatigued with their work. Information released by The Physicians Foundation points to the 75 million members of the Baby Boomer generation beginning to qualify for Medicare in 2011, as well as the influx of millions of newly insured patients due to the Affordable Care Act, as the cause of this increase. This has caused many doctors to consider retiring, scaling back their practices or limiting the number of new patients they accept, thus further diminishing the number of qualified practitioners and making access to quality care more difficult. 

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