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Original Articles

Physician Heal Thyself: Perspectives on Burnout among Doctors

Year : 2019 | Volume : 7 | Issue : 1 Page : 3-9

Dr Amitav Banerjee1

Address for correspondence: Address for correspondence: Dr Amitav Banerjee, Professor & Head, Department of Community Medicine, Dr D Y Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr D Y Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, India.



Introduction: Medical professionals are passing through turbulent times. Doctors today face many challenges. Fierce competition to get into medical school and subsequently into postgraduate courses, financial burden due to high cost of medical education, keeping abreast with technological advances, pressure for specialization and super-specialization, long working hours, poor diet and recreation make doctors particularly in their formative years highly vulnerable to burnout. This paper deals with the problem of burnout among doctors. For this review medical database such as PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar were searched using keywords, “burnout,” “burnout syndrome,” and “doctors.” Besides relevant newspaper and media reports were included. The review has brought out that burnout is an important issue among doctors. Doctors in various situations face different occupational environments predisposing to prolonged stress and burnout. In government hospitals and health centres, doctors are overworked due to high patient load and limited resources. In the private sector there is increasing corporatization leading to pressure from management to resort to questionable practices to increase profit. Doctors in teaching institutions face the stress of frequent surprise inspections. Burnout can adversely affect health and well being – in extreme cases leading to suicidal ideation. On the professional front it can lead to medical errors. Prevention and coping skills for burnout include leadership and resilience training, stress management skills, and organizational measures. However, evidence of efficacy of most measures is modest. There is much scope for interdisciplinary research to resolve these issues.

Keywords ::Burnout; burnout syndrome; doctors; perspectives; determinants; coping.


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