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SURGEON BURNOUT

SURGEONS EXPERIENCE BURNOUT MORE OFTEN THAN ANYONE KNEW, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Burnout may perhaps be defined as a constellation of career and life dissatisfaction, depression, and serious work-home conflicts.  No surprise that surgeons who work more hours and have more nights on call are more likely to experience the condition, a study by led Charles Balch, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins, has shown.

BALCH:  Burnout is not an uncommon state and it is something that most people actually work through.  The real concern for all of us in publishing this data and increasing awareness is the small percentage of individuals who get into unhealthy consequences as a result of their burnout or depression, and that would include alcoholism, drug addiction, suicide, early retirement, in association with increased risk of medical errors.   :31

Balch says the study also showed that mandating a reduction in work hours for surgeons wasn’t the answer. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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