From USA Today, where you can read the whole article:
While the medical profession prepares for treating millions of patients who will be newly insured under the health care law, the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.) reports nearly 1 in 2 (45.8%) of the nation’s doctors already suffer a symptom of burnout.
“The rates are higher than expected,” says lead author and physician Tait Shanafelt. “We expected maybe 1 out of 3. Before health care reform takes hold, it’s a concern that those docs are already operating at the margins.”
Being asked to see more patients and not getting enough time with them create an atmosphere of “being on a hamster wheel,” says physician Jeff Cain, president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians, which is not associated with the study. “We know when enough time is spent with patients that outcomes improve and costs are down.”Differences varied by specialty: Emergency medicine, general internal medicine, neurology and family medicine reported the highest rates. The authors note other studies show burnout can decrease the quality of care, lead to increased risk for errors and push doctors into early retirement, as well as cause problems in their personal lives.
“There have been other studies done on doctor burnout, but we assumed it was the surgical specialties who would be at primary risk,” says Shanafelt. “Instead we found out it’s the physicians on the front line of care who are at the greatest risk.”