Docs complain of burnout, consider leaving profession: Canadian study

Updated on Jun 12, 2021 11:57 AM IST
The study was based on survey responses from 302 internal medicine physicians who worked for Vancouver General Hospital and St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Anaesthesiologist, Dr Jason Cyr (centre), adjusts ventilator tubes as healthcare workers turn a patient suffering from coronavirus disease out of prone position at Humber River Hospital's Intensive Care Unit, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (AFP)
Anaesthesiologist, Dr Jason Cyr (centre), adjusts ventilator tubes as healthcare workers turn a patient suffering from coronavirus disease out of prone position at Humber River Hospital's Intensive Care Unit, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (AFP)
ByAnirudh Bhattacharyya I Edited by Amit Chanda

More than two-thirds of doctors have complained of feeling burnout with over 20% considering leaving the medical profession due to the stress brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new Canadian study.

The study, published in the journal BMJ Open, found that “burnout was prevalent among 68% of physicians and noted over 20% of surveyed physicians were considering quitting the profession, or had already quit a position”, according to the University of British Columbia (UBC). “During the Covid-19 pandemic, although most of our respondents feel a sense of personal accomplishment, burnout and emotional exhaustion are high,” the study said.

The study’s lead researcher Dr Nadia Khan, professor of general internal medicine at UBC, said, “I think that this issue is not unique to just these two hospitals. It is widespread. I would say global. It’s also not just amongst physicians but likely affecting other healthcare workers.”

She also noted that the coronavirus crisis had increased physician burnout, a phenomenon that was rising even before the pandemic struck.

The study was based on survey responses from 302 internal medicine physicians who worked for Vancouver General Hospital and St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia between August and October 2020.

Burnout was defined as “an occupational syndrome characterised by emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation - which is a lack of care about the work. It also affects workers’ sense of personal accomplishment”.

Women and younger doctors were more likely to feel the impact, as burnout “was prevalent among 71% of women compared to 64% of men”. It was also found to be highest, at 74%, among younger physicians, aged between 36 and 50. Meanwhile, visible minority physicians had 1.8 times higher odds of feeling low personal accomplishment in comparison to white respondents.

Among other survey findings, 63% of respondents reported emotional exhaustion, 39% reported a lack of care towards the job, or depersonalisation, and 22% reported feeling low personal accomplishment.

The study pointed out the “prevalence of burnout and its components in the current study are generally higher than those reported prior to the pandemic”.

A systematic review of 176 studies from 2018 reported a prevalence of overall burnout of 48.7%, while a recent meta-analysis of 22,778 medical and surgical residents identified a 51% aggregate prevalence prior to the pandemic.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • File photo of cracked and dry earth on the banks of Le Broc lake, as a historical drought hits France, August 5, 2022.

    France in midst of 4th heat wave amid historic drought

    France was in the midst of its fourth heat wave of the year Monday as the country faces what the government warned is its worst drought on record. Read US Senate poised to pass Biden's cornerstone climate and health bill The high temperatures aren't helping firefighters battling a wildfire in the Chartreuse Mountains, near the Alps in eastern France, where authorities have evacuated around 140 people.

  • Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak before taking part in the BBC Conservative Party leadership debate in Stoke-on-Trent, England, Monday July 25, 2022.

    Rishi Sunak v Liz Truss: UK PM race finalists clash over this policy

    The race to elect a new Conservative Party leader, who will take charge as British Prime Minister early next month, heated up on Monday as the two finalists – Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss – clashed over their proposals to tackle the soaring cost-of-living crisis across the country. While Truss has pledged immediate tax cuts if elected, Sunak has promised more targeted support for the most vulnerable households and tax cuts further down the line.

  • China’s Yuan Wang 5 is seen docked on October 2, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. The ship is described as a naval vessel used for tracking and supporting satellites. (Getty Images)

    ‘Senseless’: Beijing unhappy as India opposes docking of Chinese ship at Sri Lankan port

    China on Monday described as “senseless” India's opposition to the docking of a Chinese ship at a Sri Lankan port, saying “relevant” countries should stop disturbing normal exchanges between Beijing and Colombo. China's Yuan Wang 5, a space and satellite tracking vessel, was allowed by Colombo last month to dock at the southern Sri Lankan port of Hambantota between August 11 and 17, raising security concerns in New Delhi.

  • (Representational Image) 

    Balochistan Assembly holds anti-child marriage bill pending from last 8 years

    The draft for an anti-child marriage bill has been pending before the Balochistan Assembly for the last eight years, a legislator briefed the consultation meeting on the issue of child marriage. A politician from the National Party, Shama Ishaq, said that the delay was due to hurdles created by certain quarters. The session was presided over by Balochistan's Parliamentary Secretary on Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Science and Technology, Rubaba Khan Buledi.

  • Children cool off in a water fountain during a heatwave, in London, Britain. (File)

    Europe's scorching heat to escalate pressure on power infrastructure

    Another scorching heat wave is set to hit northwest and central Europe this week, putting further pressure on the continent's strained power infrastructure. Sizzling temperatures are expected to hit the UK, Germany and France -- reaching almost 36 degrees Celsius (96.8 Fahrenheit) on Friday -- according to Maxar Technologies LLC. The heat will boost demand for cooling, aggravating already dry conditions that hurt crops and force limits on water use.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, August 08, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now