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 18 December 2017

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News

Framework for action on physician burnout and well-being

June's issue of the Diseases of the Colon & Rectum provides a summary of what is known about physician burnout, and developed a framework to reverse its current negative impact.

News image

Physician burnout in the United States has reached epidemic proportions and is rising rapidly, although burnout in other occupations is stable. 

Its negative impact is far reaching and includes harm to the burned-out physician, as well as patients, coworkers, family members, close friends, and healthcare organizations.

Dr David Rothenberger and colleagues provided an accurate, current summary of what is known about physician burnout and to develop a framework to reverse its current negative impact, decrease its prevalence, and implement effective organizational and personal interventions.

The team completed a comprehensive MEDLINE search of the medical literature from 2000, through 2016, related to medical student and physician burnout, stress, depression, suicide ideation, suicide, resiliency, wellness, and well-being. 

In addition, the researchers selectively reviewed secondary articles, books addressing the relevant issues, and oral presentations at national professional meetings since 2013.

The prevalence of burnout now exceeds 50%
Diseases of the Colon & Rectum
Healthcare organizations within the United States were studied.

The team presented the literature review in 5 sections covering the basics of defining and measuring burnout; its impact, incidence, and causes; and interventions and remediation strategies.

Dr Rothenberger's team commented, "All US medical students, physicians in training, and practicing physicians are at significant risk of burnout."

"Its prevalence now exceeds 50%. Burnout is the unintended net result of multiple, highly disruptive changes in society at large, the medical profession, and the healthcare system."

"Both individual and organizational strategies have been only partially successful in mitigating burnout and in developing resiliency and well-being among physicians."

"Two highly effective strategies are aligning personal and organizational values, and enabling physicians to devote 20% of their work activities to the part of their medical practice that is especially meaningful to them. More research is needed."

Dis Colon Rectum 2017: 60(6):567-576
23 May 2017

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