Over the past two years a realistic way to describe medical professionals would be, “significantly understaffed, underfunded, and overworked” and more obviously, “in crisis” in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic.
All of these quotes are actually direct responses from a survey undertaken by the United Kingdom’s Royal College of General Practitioners. They found that nearly half of British family doctors are planning on leaving the medical field within the next five years. Wow!
Of those departing say stress, long working hours, and lack of job satisfaction as the main reasons for needing a change.
Among other things, the doctors say they are pleading for relief from the mass amount of paperwork required of the job, they see it as a burden, preventing them from spending more time with patients.
Across the Atlantic in the United States, the statistical feedback from medical pros is not much better.
According to an article published by the American Medical Association, citing Mayo Clinic findings, one out of every five U.S. doctors polled, plan on leaving the field in the next two years. One out of every three say they are planning on significantly decreasing their work hours in the next year.
U.S. doctors note concerns about the amount of time they have to treat patients, believing it is far too short.
Were such a medical mass exodus to occur, it will have a tremendously negative impact on the overall quality of health coverage.
Burnout is certainly not a new phenomenon in medicine, even prior to the pandemic, but it clearly ratcheted things up.
While in medical school, students are 15% to 30% more likely to experience depression. In their medical residency training, 45% will experience burnout, while regularly clocking excessive schedules of 50 to 80 hours per week.
Economically doctor burnout, is estimated to cost the U.S. an estimated $6.3 billion annually.
Let’s take better care of our doctors, so that they can be there to take care of us.