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Survey: burned-out doctors twice as likely to report mistakes

Physician burn-out occurs when a doctor feels extremely exhausted and loses his or her ability to care about and connect with patients. According to a national survey, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, many physicians are burned-out and making medical mistakes because of their condition.

Researchers surveyed over 6,000 doctors in the United States and found that more than half of them said they were experiencing burnout. These burned-out doctors are twice as likely to report errors as other doctors. Researchers found that the more tired a doctor is, the more likely he or she was to make a mistake when treating patients. The study also revealed one out of 10 physicians surveyed admitted to making a major medical error in the past three months.

Hospitals are apparently concerned about physician burnout and the doctor errors that are occurring because of it. Making checklists, getting rid of hierarchy in the medical field, and otherwise supporting medical professionals may help bring down the rates of physician burnout and save countless lives in the process. A previous study by the Mayo Clinic also showed that doctors are less likely to report burnout if they are happy with those in charge. Because of this, many places are also working to improve leadership and making organizational changes in the medical community.

Medical errors are reportedly the third leading cause of death in the U.S. They can cause serious injury and illness that can have severe ramifications for victims and their families. If you or a loved one has suffered damages due to a Maryland physician's error, a medical malpractice attorney can evaluate your claim and determine if you have a valid case against the doctors and hospital responsible for your care.

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