Administrative burdens and long hours contribute to rising levels of physician burnout, so too do the emotional repercussions of being involved in an adverse event.
Nearly half (46%) of doctors report they felt burnout, up from 40% in 2013, Medscape's Physician Lifestyle Report, shows. Physicians who specialize in critical care emergency medicine, and family medicine reported feeling burnout the most.
Other studies back up Medscape's findings. Physician burnout is on the rise, and the reasons are familiar: administrative burdens, EMRs (and other technology-related office tasks), and too many hours spent at work.
Medscape's study may be new, but for many physicians, the findings aren't news. Robert Wah, MD, president of the AMA, says that one of the biggest concerns physicians have is the complexity of upcoming regulations and the reporting requirements.
"We're in an environment where a lot of those things are on the rise instead of on the decline," he told me.
The news this week that Medicare will transition more of its reimbursement to be based on value rather than volume by 2016 may reverse the level of physician burnout, says Don Crane, president and CEO of CAPG, one of the largest associations of multi-specialty and independent physician groups in 20 states.
"Physicians are burdened with an enormous amount of administrative work," says Crane. "But, now physician leaders are trying to become leaders of an enterprise that will rise or fall based on medical management, not nickels and dimes. Physician leaders' stock will rise and their sense of reward and gratification of the profession will improve."
Jacqueline Fellows is a contributing writer at HealthLeaders Media.