COVID-19 and Physician Burnout: How Health Systems Can Help Reverse It


Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare
By Kent Locklear, MD, MBA
December 2, 2020


After months of being stuck at home, staying socially distant, wearing face coverings, and constantly washing your hands, do you suffer from “coronavirus burnout”? While COVID-19-related inconveniences are certainly disruptive to our lives, healthcare providers have faced a burnout problem since before the pandemic, and COVID-19 is only exacerbating the condition.

This past September, the Physicians Foundation released the results of a survey of more than 2,300 physicians conducted in mid-to-late August, more than five months after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Nearly 60% of physicians surveyed reported feelings of burnout, compared to 40% in 2018. Half of the physicians surveyed reported experiencing anger, tearfulness, or anxiety due to the pandemic’s effect on their practice or employment.

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