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The link between professional burnout and medical errors

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Most people in Delaware want to feel happy and fulfilled in their careers. However, those in the health care field — particularly physician assistants — may struggle to feel happy in their chosen professions. Those feelings can negatively affect patients in ultimately disastrous ways, as burnout among physician assistants has been strongly linked to medical errors. 

Burnout leads to depression 

A survey that measured levels of burnout found that 34% of physician assistants meet the criteria for burnout. A total of 46% meet the criteria for having work exhaustion, while another 30% have the criteria for interpersonal disengagement. Some of the criteria that the survey looked for included: 

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Personal fulfillment 

The surveys also found that around 80% of physician assistants self-reported as having made one or more medical errors over the course of their careers. Past studies have shown a strong relationship between things like depression and burnout with professional performance and medical errors. Physician assistants who are experiencing burnout, depression or who are unfulfilled professionally are more likely to have patients with negative outcomes. 

While it is true that health care professionals are only human, it is important that they address their own needs so that they can better help their patients. Delaware patients deserve the best possible care whether they are seeking help with a minor medical issue or a serious disease. When health care professionals make medical errors and fail to help their patients, it is sometimes necessary to pursue compensation for things like medical bills and pain and suffering.