Stories

Most doctors and nurses feel burned out

About half of the doctors and nurses in the U.S. — 54% — experience substantial symptoms of burnout, according to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Why it matters: Overworked doctors are more likely to make medical errors, face malpractice claims, and to experience absenteeism, substance abuse or, in some cases, a suicide attempt.

Details: Health care workers are prone to burnout because the bulk of the U.S. health care system's dysfunction lands on them, "resulting in long hours, mounting paperwork and bureaucratic hurdles, fear of malpractice lawsuits and insufficient resources," the Washington Post reports.

  • Among medical students and residents, burnout is as high as 60%.
  • Separately, a study published in July shows medical residents are more likely to implicate racial bias in their practice as burnout increases.