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A number of recent studies have highlighted rising levels of burnout among hospital doctors, with one recent Irish study showing one in three doctors have suffered burnout and four out of five experience significant work stress. 

Figures suggest the prevalence of burnout may be even higher among primary care doctors, with a survey by the American Medical Association and the Mayo Clinic finding 54.4 per cent of doctors reported at least one sign of burnout, with those working in family medicine among the worst affected (63 per cent reporting burnout).

New research has now shed light on the factors that are most associated with burnout among medical professionals. Almost 2,000 family doctors in the US were surveyed as part of the research, with 25 per cent reporting symptoms of burnout.

Less control over workload, lack of sufficient time for documentation, stress owing to their job and more time spent on electronic medical records (EMRs) at home, were all associated with the presence of burnout. Writing in JAMA, the authors said future interventions to reduce burnout and improve patient care and doctor satisfaction can be targeted toward addressing such workplace factors.