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Explaining internists’ burnout

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This article looks at why internists report more burnout than other physicians.

A partial explanation, says Gregory A. Hood, M.D., an internist who has written eloquently about physicians burnout, is thatĀ itĀ stems from “high idealism among internists, who not only chose what they wanted to do in their professional lives but accepted doing this work knowing that they were accepting a lower relative evaluation of their services, economically and noneconomically.

“Idealism,” he says,”can predispose for disappointment, particularly when the locus of control is outside that of the physician.”

Like many doctors, Dr Hood lays some of the blame on “bureaucracy,” including “the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), which recently belatedly admitted that they ‘were wrong’ about maintenance of certification (MOC), as well as bureaucracy of group practices, hospital/Joint Commission requirements, and so forth.”

“Few will remain in the profession and tolerate the stress, depersonalization, and emotional exhaustion for 20 years, should no relief be found within the profession.”



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