Burnout: Chinese vs US Physicians
Just read yet another article on Physician Burnout (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/803968). This one compared burnout amongst physicians in China and the United States. In order to keep the groups comparable, only the responses of physicians less than 45 years of age were selected – there were 6000 Chinese, and 7500 US physicians. I was specifically intrigued by one of the charts presented, which is reproduced here:
|It is manageable and I’m not making any changes||36%||25%|
|It is manageable but I need to make some changes in hours/workload/etc.||52.2%||62%|
|I am thinking of leaving my current position||7.3%||7%|
|I am thinking of leaving medicine altogether||4.5%||5%|
Forty two percent of US Physicians, and 82 percent of Chinese physicians who took part in the survey reported burnout. Of these, 52% and 62% respectively said they needed to make changes in their working lives. This is very significant in that 3120 Chinese and 4650 US physicians know they should do things differently. It would be interesting to know how many of them are really doing something about it, and how many simply feel stuck, and will sooner or later end up either resentful or leaving their jobs.
What is even more disconcerting is that almost 12% of the responders in both countries were thinking of either leaving their current job, or giving up medicine altogether. This means, 720 physicians in China and 900 in the US – all under 45 years of age). If we consider the entire physician population in both countries, this number would obviously be much higher.
These physicians who report burnout must have put in a lot of time, money, and sacrifices to get to where they are. The government also would have spent a lot of resources, training them.
I wonder, what would it take for these physicians with burnout, to decide to stay? What would it take for them to re-discover their love for the profession that attracted them initially.
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