Primary care doctors face burnout, and how that affects health reform

Not only are primary care physicians in short supply, there more evidence that they are burning out and leaving the field.

According to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, “large numbers of physicians claimed a lack of control of their work, a chaotic work pace and time constraints during patient visits,” and, “more than a quarter complained of burnout. More than 30 percent indicated they would leave the field within five years.”

Not good numbers if universal coverage is potentially about to be enacted, and primary care doctors are needed to care for a potential influx of patients.

Indeed, Dr. Wes nicely encapsulates how burnout is affecting the medical profession today:

We expect our doctors to be devoted, available, enthusiastic, meticulous and at the top of their game with perfect “quality” and “perfect performance,” while simultaneously cutting their pay, increasing documentation requirements and oversight, limiting independence, questioning their professional judgment, and extending their working hours.

Not a situation that screams, “sign me up,” is it?

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