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burnout in clinicians

The myth still persists that clinicians have a higher risk of burnout than physicians working in their own independent practice. Daniel Roberts and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic have now shown that hospital based physicians and doctors in private practices are equally affected.

A burnout affects the whole of life – nothing works any more. The psychoanalyst Herbert Freudenberger (1927-1999) coined the term “burnout syndrome” for the first time in 1974. Whoever burns out becomes cynical, isolated and no longer works effectively. This can especially for the medical profession have serious consequences.

Clinicians in particular are often subject to unpredictable working times. They work with very ill patients and those concerned with the patients. The doctors’ private life is sometimes considerably curtailed. High volumes of working time correlate with the rate of burnout illness occurring with internists, general practitioners, palliative care physicians, young junior doctors and radiologists, as one study has showed. In addition, clinician physicians are often young and inexperienced, which increases their stress. The well-defined hierarchies in the hospital and pressure from above adds to this. Studies have shown that younger doctors due to their inexperience are actually more commonly sufferers of burnout than older colleagues. Clinician physicians were seen in studies to also be more worried about suffering from a burnout than independent praxis-based doctors.