The results of a national survey indicate that over 50 percent of doctors in New York and the rest of the nation are burned out. The results also indicate that those doctors have a higher likelihood of committing medical errors.
Almost 6,700 hospital and clinic physicians were polled about workplace safety, fatigue, suicidal thoughts, medical errors and indications of workplace burnout. Over 20 percent of the respondents stated that they had made at least one serious medical error in the last three months before they participated in the survey. The investigators conducting the poll determined that the doctors with burnout were twice as likely to commit a medical mistake.
According to the lead author of the study, burnout is a work-related condition that results in cynicism, emotional exhaustion and decreased effectiveness. While burnout is not limited to physicians, it is a condition that occurs frequently in occupations in which there are significant interactions with people and extreme levels of stress.
A variety of adverse events may take place when physicians are exhibiting signs of burnout. The most frequently occurring mistakes include technical errors during medical procedures, medical judgement errors and errors in diagnosing illnesses.
There are additional studies that demonstrate the association between burnout and ordering an insufficient or excessive number of lab tests. Burnout has also been shown to be linked to the improper prescribing or dosing of medication or causing patients to develop infections, fall or die.
People who have sustained harm due to the actions of a negligent doctor might wish to discuss their legal options with a medical malpractice attorney. The attorney may pursue financial compensation against physicians whose medical errors, such as the failure to properly treat infections or prescribing the wrong type of medication, resulted in permanent disability, worsened conditions, unnecessary treatment, delayed treatment or death.