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Physician burnout seems to be a national healthcare emergency. A recent survey of 15,000 practicing physicians showed that 42% reported feeling burned out. But what exactly is burnout, and what are its root causes? Today’s guest, Thomas Schwenk, MD, is encouraging providers and researchers to think more deeply about these fundamental questions.
Recent reports on physician burnout have prompted concerns about increased risk of physician suicide and depression, medical errors, and negative physician-patient interactions. The medical profession seems to be rushing to find solutions to the problem, but the problem may not be well-defined. Today’s guest, Thomas Schwenk, MD, dean of the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine, says that without a better understanding of physician burnout and its causes, efforts to improve the current system are likely to fall short.