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Burnout is one of those road hazards in life that high-achievers really should be keeping a close eye out for, but sadly—often because of their "I can do.
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Burnout is a buzzword that's been in the news, but what is it? How does it affect doctors and their patients? It turns out, nobody really knows. The first study , a systematic review, summarizes the research to date on physician burnout. Study authors found that researchers do not use a consistent definition of burnout, and estimates of how common it is vary widely.

The second study followed doctors-in-training over six years and tracked how they felt about their work.

With Physician Burnout Increasing, Doctors Ask What Is It, Really? : Shots - Health News : NPR

They found that women and doctors in certain high-stress specialties were more likely to experience symptoms of burnout, like emotional exhaustion and regret about career choice. There's a problem with this study and with media reports on doctor burnout, according to Dr.

She says that the main questionnaire used to measure burnout wasn't even designed for doctors.

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She says it's intended for professionals like social workers and therapists, who have to cope with trauma their patients experience. Doctors, Gold hypothesizes, may be facing stress related to mounting administrative tasks — a different problem with a different solution. Katherine Gold Courtesy of Dr. Katherine Gold hide caption. To get a better understanding of what's going on, we spoke with Gold about her editorial, which calls for more research on exactly what's afflicting doctors today.

Gold is an associate professor of family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan and she studies physician well-being.

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You're a primary care doctor, supposedly at the epicenter of physician burnout. Do you feel burned out? I feel very stressed, but not burned out. I think that stress is a better reflection of the pressures that primary care physicians have in their jobs.

Most of us primary care physicians are spending less time with our patients and much more time on clerical activities.

That, I think, causes stress, but not necessarily burnout. I think that there's a universal understanding that there is a great deal of distress among physicians, but there has been a lot of hoopla about everybody being burned out. It's not clear to me whether we're looking at the nuances there. It might change what you think might help fix burnout.

Doctors Today May Be Miserable, But Are They 'Burnt Out'?

Core resilience is about believing in something bigger and higher than yourself. Become curious, comfortable, creative and develop your intuition again. However, people who start feeling overwhelmed should plan which projects they can take on. Start saying no, and start delegating better and more often.

She says people need to switch off — and that means all computers, smartphones, or other devices. Socialise outside your area of work — join, for example, the Toastmasters and challenge yourself on a different level. Negative self-talk can become self-sabotage. Figures from Stats SA show that absenteeism costs companies between R12bn and R16bn per annum — much of that relates to workplace stress, burnout syndrome and employee health. De Villiers believes companies internationally are far ahead of South Africa in terms of employee wellness — like having a dedicated room where people can go to scream to get rid of frustration or anger.

Others serve snacks two or three times a week because people do not take lunch; or they have created a space where people can make a private phone call, or an area where employees can do some exercise during their lunch hour. This article originally appeared in the 16 August edition of finweek. Buy and download the magazine here or subscribe to our newsletter here.

Money Clinic Get your financial questions answered. Press Code We subscribe to the Press Code. Newsletters You choose what you want. If you do recognize some of these signs in your own work and life, Dachis also offers tips for undoing the effects of burnout.


Or, try the four-step program from Creative Boom to get on the path to recovery. Scott Dockweiler crafts witty headlines, writes fun articles, and generally lends a hand to the editorial team at The Daily Muse. Hmmm, seems you've already signed up for this class.