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|Burnout, Plaguing Physicians, New Study Shows|
|News Releases - Stage & Theatre|
|Written by Ginny Grimsley|
|Monday, 12 November 2012 09:20|
Noted Doctor Warns of Threat to Patients; Offers Tips
More than 45 percent of physicians are experiencing at least one symptom of burnout, according to the first national study on the topic, and that concerns noted physician and professor of medicine emeritus Dr. Paul Griner, (www.DrPaulGriner.com), author of “The Power of Patient Stories: Learning Moments in Medicine.”
Burnout can be characterized by, detachment, diminishing empathy and emotional exhaustion – all of which can impede a physician’s ability to thoroughly and accurately assess patients, Griner says.
The Archives of Internal Medicine study, published in August, surveyed 7,288 physicians, and assessed them using the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Nearly half, 46 percent, reported at least one symptom of burnout. Specialties that were most at-risk were family medicine, general internal medicine and emergency medicine -- those that benefit most from taking time to listen to patients because they are often the first point of patient contact, Griner says.
He notes that strategies to address this problem must recognize that burnout begins early in one’s medical career, during medical school and throughout residency training.
Preventing burnout needs to start early, Griner says. Teachers must give medical students and residents the tools to cope with and reduce the stresses that cause it.
“This is not the first survey that’s found a heightened level of burnout among physicians. We know it’s a problem,” Griner says.
“Doctors need to be in tune with their patients, asking, listening and connecting the dots. They can’t do that effectively if they’re burned out.”
About Paul Griner, M.D.
Hematologist/internist Paul Griner has had a 59-year career in medicine. He is a professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and was a consultant at the Massachusetts General Hospital, senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School, and consultant to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in Cambridge, Mass. He has written or co-written 130 journal articles, book chapters, and books on clinical medicine, medical education, and health policy. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and was president of a number of national medical organizations, including the American College of Physicians.
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