64% Of Physicians Have Considered Leaving the Job: How Burnout Is Taking Over the Medical Field and the Crucial Next Steps to Relieve Workers

  • Software Advice’s new research reveals that 25% of physicians have considered a career change during the pandemic while 39% have considered early retirement.

Software Advice, a company that helps businesses navigate the software buying journey, released findings from its latest survey on physician burnout. The study pointed to the most common burnout symptoms of the past eighteen months and ways to relieve physicians moving forward.

Of the physicians that Software Advice surveyed, 64% have considered leaving their job. The 25% who considered a career change had a plethora of different responses when asked what they would do next. While consulting and teaching in the medical field were top choices, many others stated potential jobs outside of the industry including photography, music, culinary arts and restaurant entrepreneurship — indicating a growing desire to leave the medical field altogether.

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Lisa Hedges, Medical Analyst for Software Advice, provides solutions to address the high number of physicians who are considering leaving their profession. Most importantly, physician work-life balance should be prioritized with more flexible work hours and increased paid time-off. In the survey, 82% of physicians said flexible work hours would help alleviate burnout, and 77% said increased paid time-off would help significantly. However, only 29% of physicians surveyed have been given more flexible hours and only 11% have seen an increased paid time-off. While the ongoing public health crisis has proved challenging for implementing such changes, it’s time to take these necessary steps to improve physician well-being.

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Surveyed physicians also rated their burnout symptoms. Almost all physicians (97%) have experienced emotional exhaustion throughout the past year and a half. One in six experienced it constantly. Of those surveyed, 95% experienced changes in sleep patterns or difficulty sleeping, while almost one in ten experienced it constantly.
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