- In a micro survey of 200 U.S. primary care physicians (PCPs) and emergency department (ER) doctors released Monday, 74% of respondents said their healthcare facilities or practices are not taking effective steps to lessen or prevent burnout.
- PCPs and ER doctors, with an average of 17 years in practice, reported a burnout rate of 57%.
- Time pressures were cited as the top cause of physician burnout, followed by EMRs in the qualitative verbatim comments in InCrowd's survey.
In a survey response, an ER doctor from Florida conveyed the difficulties of having to work faster, see more patients, and make more money for others, while running the risk of facing angered patients or malpractice injuries.
A PCP argued EMRs "nearly double the time and expense of medical practice for most direct patient care physicians, including physicians in training, without increasing any type of reimbursement."
A Merritt Hawkins 2014 survey of 20,088 U.S. physicians showed while 85% had adopted EMRs, they reportedly impaired efficiency for 46%.
InCrowd's results are similar to those of a January 2016 Medscape Lifestyles study of 15,800 physicians in which the highest average burnout rate was 55% and it occurred in critical care, urology, and emergency medicine. Physician burnout increased between 2011 and 2014 by up to 54.4% and respondents said bureaucratic tasks were the main cause.
In April, the Medscape Physician Compensation Report found although 98% of physicians continue to feel rewarded by treating patients, the majority was increasingly unlikely to choose a career in medicine if they had a "do-over."
A California emergency medicine physician said in response to the InCrowd survey that while medcine can still be rewarding, "...autonomy is gone, and it is frustrating to have to change practice based on metrics, measures, etc. that are often not patient-centered, nor evidence based."