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ER physician burnout: Tense work, low control

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A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found, not surprisingly, that physician burnout is highest among emergency physicians. It usefully deconstructed the reasons.

Other high rates were among such other front-line physicians as family medicine, general internal medicine, neurology;  the lowest rates were found among pathology, dermatology, general pediatrics and preventive medicine.

The mean average of those reporting burnout was 45.8 percent,  with  emergency physicians having a 60 percent rate.

“Emergency physicians are a little more aware of burnout because of the intensity of their work,” Shay Bintliff, M.D., told MedPage Today.  He recently stopped working after 30 years as an ER doctor.

“Work environments that are high demand and low control are most likely to lead to burnout. ER docs work for somebody else. They work for a group, a hospital, or a corporation. They don’t have a single individual practice where they call the shots. They are pretty much at somebody else’s mercy.”

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