Nearly half of GPs risk burnout

A RECENT survey carried out by Pulse has revealed that 43 per cent of GPs are at a high risk of suffering burn out.

Over 1,700 GPs were assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory tool which was adapted with input from the Royal College of General Practitioners. It contained questions assessing three key areas signalling a high risk of burnout – emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and a low level of personal accomplishment.

The survey found that 43 per cent of GPs showed a high risk in all three areas and 99 per cent in at least one. Of particular concern was the finding that 97 per cent of GPs do not believe they are “positively influencing other people’s lives or accomplishing much in their role”.

Doctors who suffer from burnout should seek help before patient safety is compromised, says MDDUS medical adviser Dr Barry Parker.

“While doctors are caring for patients, they can sometimes neglect to care for themselves,” says Dr Parker.

“Speaking to a colleague or their own GP about these issues should not be seen as a sign of weakness. More and more doctors are suffering from stress or health problems as workload increases. Doctors who are concerned about a colleague’s wellbeing are advised to be sensitive and encourage them to seek help.”

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