Most people trust the doctors and nurses who treat them. After all, these individuals usually have extensive education, training, and experience. But they’re also human, which means that they’re prone to making mistakes. While certain characteristics of the work environment, such as distraction, might increase the risk of a medical error, there’s another contributing factor to medical malpractice: burnout.
The prevalence of burnout amongst surgeons
It might be hard to believe, but medical professionals face a high rate of burnout. In fact, one study found that as many as 40% of surgeons experience burnout, resulting in about 30% of them developing symptoms of depression. Another study found that the burnout rate amongst all medical specialties affected more than half of doctors, and the number had increased significantly over the years.
Causes of burnout
There are many factors that can contribute to burnout amongst medical professionals. Some of them are tied to these individuals’ personal lives, such as whether they have young children, but many of them are professionally related. Doctors have struggled with the use of electronic medical records and the impact of online reviews, and their constantly finding that they have less time to devote to patients then they would like. None of these factors justify providing sub-standard care.
The effects of burnout
Just like in any other profession, burnout amongst surgeons can have a major impact on their ability to adequately preform their job. They can become fatigued, lose focus, and take shortcuts that are risky for patients. Any of these issues can result in serious harm to innocent and unsuspecting patients, oftentimes leaving them with injuries or worsened medical conditions that can last for years, decades, or a lifetime.
These medical professionals carry a heavy responsibility, which is why they need to be held accountable for their errant ways. Victims of medical malpractice can take action to do just that while also seeking to recover the compensation that they need and deserve. The process isn’t always easy, though, which is why it might be in your best interests to work closely with a skilled medical malpractice legal professional who will know how to develop the strongest claim possible under the given facts.