Report: Burnout is pervasive in U.S. healthcare

By staff writers

October 24, 2019 -- Burnout is prevalent in U.S. healthcare, affecting between one-third and one-half of U.S. nurses and physicians and from 45% to 60% of medical students and residents, according to a report issued October 23 by the National Academy of Medicine.

The authors of the report, entitled "Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-Being, examine the causes of burnout in healthcare and present possible solutions to the problem.

While burnout among healthcare providers isn't new, the condition has become worse "due to system factors inherent in the modern healthcare system," according to Dr. Matthew Weinger, a professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a member of the report's authoring committee.

To address burnout, the committee made several recommendations, including the following:

  • Tackle clinician burnout early in professional development, in particular by recognizing stressors in the learning environment.
  • Recognize the role of well-designed technology to reduce burnout -- while acknowledging the role of some technologies in contributing to burnout, such as poorly designed electronic medical records.
  • Reduce the stigma for clinicians who seek help for psychological stress, and make assistance more easily available.

The report concludes with goals and recommendations for creating more positive work and learning environments, reducing administrative burdens, enabling technology solutions, and providing more support for clinicians and learners.

Copyright © 2019

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