Burnout: What it Looks Like

“Burnout” is an oft-cited reason for why physicians stop practicing medicine… but what, exactly, is burnout?

According to WebMD: “Burnout is a form of exhaustion caused by constantly feeling swamped. It’s a result of excessive and prolonged emotional, physical and mental stress. In many cases, burnout is related to one’s job. Burnout happens when you’re overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to keep up with life’s incessant demands.”

Sound familiar?

While not a medical diagnosis, burnout can impact physical and mental health, as it can contribute to high blood pressure, fatigue, anxiety and more.

A recent survey of health care professionals, including more than 200 family and general practitioners, sought to understand what burnout looked like during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Software Advice, the most common burnout symptoms the physicians reported were:

  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Changes in sleep patter or difficulty sleeping
  • Physical symptoms, like headaches
  • Changes in appetite, weight or both
  • Inability to connect with patients
  • Reduced job performance

More than half of those surveyed considered early retirement or a career change because of pandemic-related burnout. With the increasing physician shortage creating a dire impact on access to health care, Software Advice took a deep dive into these symptoms and presented information on what should be done about burnout by both individual physicians and their employers.

Physician Retraining and Reentry (PRR) was founded out of concern for the shrinking primary care physician workforce and strives to be a solution to keep physicians practicing and patients receiving the health care they need. While primary care physicians are not immune from burnout — and many do experience it — the hope is that by, providing a change of pace and focus for physicians in other specialties, PRR helps retain the physician workforce by opening doors to a variety of primary care practice settings to graduates.

  • To learn more about PRR, call us at 858-240-4878 or fill out the form below:

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