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Physician burnout can lead to surgical errors

Burnout can be a common complaint for many workers in Illinois and all around the country, regardless of the occupation. Stress and exhaustion on the job can lead to a loss of focus and possible mistakes. For the majority of jobs, an error may cause delays or monetary losses. However, in the medical profession, surgical errors can lead to serious injury or even death. Leaders at a recent industry event discussed ways to help physicians avoid and recover from burnout.

The keynote speaker at the event stated that a major cause of burnout for physicians is the care they are required to provide within a system. The doctors are stressed because the health care system in which they work promotes a standard of care they do not support. When a physician must administer a level of care that he or she may not deem as adequate, there is a conflict with morals and values. Professional burnout occurs often when this situation exists.

A recent report found that orthopedists experience some of the higher burnout rates in the medical profession. Statistics showed that orthopedic surgeons reported a burnout rate from 50 to 60 percent. When surgeons are dealing with burnout, there is an increased chance of surgical errors. Research supports that a 1 percent increase in burnout can lead to an 11 percent possibility of making a surgical error.

When injuries occur from a physician's surgical errors, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed. If a loved one has died in this type of incident, wrongful death litigation may be pursued. An Illinois personal injury attorney can assist victims or survivors in determining how to proceed in the legal process. A successful award in a lawsuit can help someone deal with unexpected hospital bills, funeral costs or other expenses.

Source: healio.com, "Burnout impairs orthopedists' ability to care for patients, avoid errors", Wayne M. Sotile and John D. Kelly IV, July 27, 2017

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