We all feel overwhelmed with our jobs from time to time, and physicians in New York City are no exception. Physician burnout is a very real problem. However, unlike other professions, when a doctor is burned out and starts making medical mistake, patients are harmed.
How big is the physician burnout problem?
One survey of over 1,300 physicians asked participants questions about the extent of burnout they felt, depression and the frequency at which they made medical mistakes and how severe these mistakes were. Some mistakes reported included ordering the incorrect medication to making a mistake that harmed a patient. The survey found that physicians who reported feeling burned out were nearly two times more likely to make a medical error compared to physicians that did not report feeling burned out.
Advocate for yourself when you suspect physician burnout
If your physician seems exhausted, indifferent or plays down their accomplishments, they may be burned out. It is perfectly acceptable to discuss burnout with your physician. You can ask them what they do to avoid burnout and what they do to avoid making medical mistakes.
Learn more about medical malpractice
Unfortunately, such conversations may come too little, too late for patients who are harmed by a burned out physician. When a person suffers a worsened condition due to a medical mistake, they could suffer further pain and suffering, a delay in diagnosis, incorrect treatment and other damages. For this reason, some patients harmed by medical mistakes choose to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Our firm’s webpage on medical malpractice may be a useful resource for those who want more information on this topic.