More than half of all health care workers worldwide are experiencing burnout that, if not addressed, could cause many to leave their fields in favor of less-stressful occupations or choose early retirement. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only made it worse.
That’s the warning of a surgeon from UT Health San Antonio in a letter and a call for global action published March 22 in the Lancet journal EClinicalMedicine.
“A recent survey done in Medscape of nearly 7,500 physicians globally showed that burnout has reached a very high rate,” said Dharam Kaushik, MD, associate professor of urology in the university’s Joe R. and Teresa Lozano School of Medicine and surgeon with the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson.
Physicians aren’t alone. Dr. Kaushik’s letter also references a large study of burnout and trauma in nurses during the pandemic.