Physicians in New York take an oath to “do no harm,” but this is a promise that is sometimes broken. Unfortunately, doctor burnout can lead to negligent acts of medical malpractice. The following are some reasons why physician burnout is a very real problem in the United States.
The changing face of medical care in the U.S.
Many doctors want to take the time to carefully examine their patients and get to know their patients so they can forge a supportive physician-patient relationship that allows for competent treatment. However, these days many physicians are burdened by onerous paperwork, little professional autonomy and a loss of long-term relationships with patients.
According to one report, while doctors enter their profession with the intention of helping their patients, instead they are spending their time in front of a computer screen or on the phone instead of focusing on their patient’s care.
What is physician burnout?
“Burnout” is defined by the American Medical Association as a stress reaction that leaves physicians emotionally exhausted, leads to a downturn in personal achievement, and leads to a decline in empathetic and personalized care. One 2018 study of physicians and burnout reports that nearly 78% of respondents stated they felt burned out either sometimes, often or always.
Physician burnout can lead to medical malpractice
A doctor who is overworked and does not take the time to carefully examine their patients and form a relationship with their patients can ultimately cause their patients harm. This could include making an incorrect diagnosis, missing a diagnosis or providing the incorrect treatment. When this happens, patients are often left worse off than they were prior to seeking treatment. When these acts of medical malpractice occur, patients could incur a great deal of medical bills, not to mention missed time at work and emotional trauma associated with fixing the mistake and receiving the correct treatment.
For this reason, many victims of medical malpractice choose to seek legal advice, so they can hold the negligent physicians accountable for their actions. This post does not contain legal advice for any specific case or in the area of medical malpractice law.