Almost Half of Doctors Are Burned Out; More May Be Depressed Than We Think

February 5, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​More than 40% of physicians report feeling burned out and 15% report feeling some form of depression, according to a January 17, 2018, Medscape survey. Of the more than 15,000 physicians in 29 specialties who responded, 42% reported symptoms of burnout, 12% reported feeling "down" (or used another colloquial term for depression), and 3% reported suffering from clinical depression. About 14% of respondents reported feeling both burnout and depression. The highest rates of burnout were reported by intensivists and critical care physicians (48%), neurologists (48%), and family physicians (47%). These results could be skewed, said a psychiatrist quoted in the study, because some physicians may report burnout when they are actually experiencing depression. Depression has a negative stigma in the medical community, while "burnout," he says, "is almost a badge of honor."

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