WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF PHYSICIAN BURNOUT?
When you are experiencing physician burnout, there are various things that could be causing the burnout that you are going through. For example, some people will respond to too much work while others will have an issue with not enough work, tedious work, and not feeling appreciated. This article will spend some time looking at the variety of causes that could be making it difficult to get the job done.
Feeling overworked and unappreciated are not the only reasons for physician burnout; there are many other contributing factors.
1. Work-Related Causes
This is the number one reason that some people will experience physician burnout. While it is possible to get burnout from some of the other things that are going on in your life, most people will find that burnout comes from something going on at work.
a. To creative-minded people, doing a tedious job is a challenging task. The dull routine of the workplace can become a reason for physician burnout. When you are doing something that never changes and is boring, you will not be happy with the job you are in regardless of how much you are making or the other perks. Often the perks of being a doctor are why you will stay around, but they do not add to the job satisfaction, and job burnout is a strong possibility.
b. A hectic and rigid work environment also contributes to physician burnout. Being a doctor demands a lot of time and work, primarily during the pandemic. Many organizations require extra efforts from physicians while failing to reward them for their hard work. In this state, physicians feel stressed and cannot recover from fatigue.
c. Patients that are never happy with the work that has been produced for them or that demand more of the physician’s time can become a source of stress. Patients’ needs can weigh on the physician’s mind long after the workday is done, leading that person to become stressed out over work issues when they should be focused on their personal lives instead. Some patients feel that they should be the center of the universe and cannot understand when the physician gets busy or has to get other things done for their other patients.
d. Those physicians who feel overworked and underpaid can end up feeling chronic stress, which can turn into physician burnout. Those that are overworked and underpaid often feel underappreciated. They are often passed up for promotions or raises, watching others receive them instead. The imbalance of recognition can be stressful to them.
f. Work dynamics have an essential influence on the work environment. If physicians are dealing with colleagues that leave them feeling undermined, that can leave them feeling stressed. Stress can also manifest in jobs, like doctors, that does not allow them much downtime. Jobs that follow the physicians home and cause an imbalance in their social life will lead to burnout. This is becoming more and more the world that we live in. Despite wanting to spend time and resources on a family, work is determined to follow the physicians, even on vacation when they take time off. Finding the right work/life balance and learning how to say “no” when needed is the best way to deal with this.
g. Outside factors can play a role as well. If the physician is experiencing emotional conflict at home or a conflict in their values in relation to the workplace, that can also lead to burnout. Life events do not know the “boundaries” of work and personal life. If you are having issues with a relationship at home, those feelings of anger, hurt, or confusion are not going to disappear the second you walk into the door of the office, and the work and communication you have to do for your job are not always going to stay at work where it belongs. Outside factors running you down can make it hard to concentrate and get the work you need to be done on time.
2. Lifestyle-Related Causes
While many of the causes of physician burnout will occur while you are at work (or at least from the work that you have to do at all times), there are some other causes that demand examination. Another cause that you should watch out for regarding physician burnout is lifestyle-related causes. These things might be connected to work that can cause burnout, but sometimes they will have nothing to do with work. It is going to depend on the situation that is at hand. The following are some of the lifestyle-related causes that you may have to deal with regarding physician burnout.
a. A work/life imbalance is one of the reasons for physician burnout. When physicians do not get enough time to relax and socialize with others and feel they are stuck at work all the time, this leads to job burnout. When you are never getting a break and your whole life is taken over by a job – especially one you do not like all that much – you will quickly burn out and have difficulties with your work.
b. To prove one’s worth at the workplace, many people burden themselves with too many responsibilities and want to handle everything alone. For example, they might volunteer to take on a lot of projects and spread themselves too thin. While this might be a good way, taking on too many responsibilities can cause burnout.
c. Due to continuous stress, depression, too much involvement at work, and many other similar reasons, a person may lack sleep. Disturbance in sleeping times may also contribute to burnout. When you have a lot on your mind, it is easy to stay up at night thinking about it. You might feel like you have forgotten something important, worry about what might happen the next day and so many other things.
d. Social relationships play an essential part in developing one’s personality. However, if you are leaning towards the condition of no interaction with close friends and relatives, it may leave you vulnerable to burnout. It would help if you had these social interactions to feel at your very best and get all of the bad energy out of your body. You have to make sure that you are dealing with a good work/life balance if you want to stay healthy, and failure to do this can result in missing out on other things or feeling your very best.
You have chosen your career for a reason, and part of that reason is your desire to help other people. Know that the people who need your help also include yourself. It’s time to take your overall well-being into your own hands and give yourself the kind and loving care you desperately need to reduce your stress and increase your resilience in the healthcare system.