Head of Mayo Clinic Addresses ‘Epidemic of Burnout’ Among Physicians

It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that more than a quarter of a million Americans die each year because of medical errors. That means that after heart disease and cancer, mistakes by members of the medical community are the third leading cause of death in the country.

Many of those mistakes happen because doctors and other medical staff are often burned out and consequently more prone to error.

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One institution trying to change that is the world-renowned Mayo Clinic.

“What we’ve seen across the medical profession nationally and globally is a steady rise in the proportion of physicians who are reporting this sense of burnout–loss of joy in work, treating patients as objects, and feeling that they’re not making a proper contribution in using their skill sets,” said Dr. John Noseworthy, president and CEO of the Mayo Clinic.

“It’s different than depression; if it isn’t recognized and treated it can deteriorate, and these physicians can become severely impaired, which can interfere with their practice, but also with their personal lives–drug abuse, depression, suicide and so on. It hasn’t been adequately addressed and we’re calling it out across the medical profession,” Noseworthy said.

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