You’ve probably felt burned out at some point in your life. Perhaps from a job where your boss continued to demand more and more.
It’s not a nice feeling, and the chances are it affected your ability to perform to your usual high standards.
Burnout can happen to anyone, yet when it happens to a doctor, the results can be catastrophic for the patients they treat.
Physician burnout is on the rise
A 2018 Stanford University School of Medicine study discovered that burnout had already reached epidemic proportions among medical staff:
- 55% of doctors surveyed said they had experienced burnout
- 10% admitted to at least one major error in the previous three months
Recent events have only made that worse. The study found that medical errors tripled in units where physician burnout was a problem.
The traditional approach to reducing medical errors was to revise the system. Yet this study suggests that is not enough. You need to look at the people in the system, i.e. the doctors that make those mistakes.
Hospitals can implement technology and other methods to try and prevent or catch errors. Yet, at the end of the day, if the doctors are frazzled, they will keep on making mistakes, some of which will inevitably slip through and cause serious harm to their patients.
If you suffered due to a doctor’s mistake during a recent hospital visit, you will need help to look at why it happened. If you discover the doctor was burnout, you may need to look at holding the hospital responsible for allowing them to continue operating when they were incapable of doing so safely.