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Physician Burnout Increases the Risk of Medical Error

Medical ErrorIncreasing demands on providers, personnel shortages, and the ever-present concern of a medical error can lead to burnout for physicians. Sadly, this condition, which is brought on by bouts of chronic stress, also decreases the safety of their patients. Learn how you can mitigate against it, and what you can do if you or someone you love is injured or killed by a medical error, with help from the following information.

Understanding Physician Burnout

In a study from the American Medical Association (AMA) and Mayo Clinic, it was determined that over half of all physicians have at least one symptom of burnout. Furthermore, 63 percent of doctors stated that they had negative feelings about practicing medicine, and almost half said they would not recommend a career in medicine. Much of this is not related to the patients themselves, but the way that the healthcare system is managed. For example, doctors face constant concerns over whether they will be flagged for an investigation, just for prescribing pain medication to their patients.

How Burnout Affects Patient Care

Doctors who are dealing with burnout are, in general, more stressed, which can cause them to overlook important details in a patient’s records or symptoms. Physicians may also experience fatigue, cloudy thinking, and other symptoms that put their patients at risk. Staff shortages cause additional stress, and they can add another layer of risk for patients. None of this excuses them in the face of a mistake, but it can give patients a better understanding of the situation.

Protecting Yourself as a Patient

Doctors may have the training and skills to treat you, but if they are suffering from burnout, they may fall short. Reduce your risk of a medical error by always coming to your appointments prepared; have a list of questions and prioritize your concerns, going from most concerning to least concerning. You might also consider creating a document that has all your medications and previous diagnoses listed, which can ensure your physician has them on hand. Also, be sure to ask about the medications, diagnoses, and treatments offered to reduce the risk of a miscommunication.

Contact Our San Jose Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed because of a physician’s medical error, contact Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP for assistance. Dedicated to your best interests, our seasoned San Jose medical malpractice attorneys will protect your rights and aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible for your case. Call (408) 289-1417 and schedule your free consultation today.

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My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.