Those who know someone who works in medicine, either as a doctor or in some other capacity, realizes that the job is highly stressful.
Causes of patient burnout
For one, the hours for an average medical professional are often long, and overtime is fairly common occurrence.
In many cases, doctors may have to work 12 or more hours with very little time off between shifts to attend to family and other personal obligations. Even with full days, however, doctors frequently feel pressure to meet important deadlines.
Moreover, a typical day in a busy medical practice can require medical professionals to move quickly from patient to patient, not to mention their other tasks, in an intense and fast-paced environment over which the professionals feel little control.
Finally, doctors and other professionals also have important charting and other recordkeeping to do which can take hours out of an already hectic schedule.
Burnout can lead to poor decisions; serious mistakes
Even the best of physicians can, after exposure to these stressors over a long period of time, can experience a condition called burnout.
Indeed, burnout is simply too common among doctors; common enough to attract the attention of the medical profession as a whole.
A doctor or other practitioner who experiences burnout will have a hard time communicating effectively with patients and colleagues, and he may also have trouble paying attention and making good decisions.
A burned out physician is a hazard to his or her patients. It is ultimately a medical professional’s duty to admit that she is suffering from burnout and to do whatever is necessary, including stepping away from practice for a while, to return to a point where she can care patients.
Trying to push through a bout of burnout can easily contribute to a doctor’s medical negligence. Patients in Queens and other boroughs in New York who get hurt by a burned out physician can seek compensation for their losses.