Physician burnout continues to plague the medical industry, according to the 2017 Medscape Physician Lifestyle Survey.
The survey of over 14,000 participants found that 51% reported burnout, which is an increase from 46% in 2015 and 40% in 2013.
Moreover, 55% of women noted burnout in the most recent survey, compared to 45% of men.
Perhaps not surprisingly, only 39% of women reported being happy at work versus 45% of men.
Tackling this issue, the pros at myhealthtalent.com, a resource designed by trusted provider of medical content Elsevier, offer their advice on how to avoid, navigate — and survive — burnout. According to the source, there are five things that can cause burnout:
Long, demanding hours
Pressure from patients or colleagues
Excessive administrative challenges
Not to mention marital concerns, family problems and financial worries can also contribute to burnout.
Existing medical conditions, nutritional imbalances or lack of sleep? Those can be culprits too.
Fortunately, there are preventive coping mechanisms to minimize physician burnout, according to the source, and it all starts with step No. 1: acknowledging that you may be suffering from it. Beyond that, there are other specific recommendations for coping with burnout:
Get a professional perspective. Meet with another physician trained in stress management for a different perspective and to help identify issues that may be aggravating burnout.
Be aware of how you’re feeling. Be present in the moment to isolate triggers of burnout, such as stress, anger, being tense or tired.
Exercise to relieve stress. Even just 10 minutes in the morning of something simple like jumping rope or yoga can help.
Reach out to friends, family and colleagues. Telling someone out loud how you feel at the moment can help you to better understand how you feel.
Know you’re not alone. Simply knowing that you’re not the only one to suffer from burnout can help.
Take a break. If you’re burned out from work, a weekend break can do wonders. A change of scenery is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.
Make a change. There may be career options that offer more flexible hours, fewer patients or a rural setting to minimize burnout. At the same time, leaving your current position for a new job is no guarantee that the grass will be greener.