Burnout among physicians is growing. A 2015 study found that dissatisfaction with work and life balance among physicians increased from 2011 to 2014, with nearly 60% of the 6,880 physicians surveyed reporting they weren’t happy with their workload and personal life balance (Mayo Clin Proc. 2015;90:1600–1613).
It’s happening to earlier-career medical professionals, too. In a 2012 study of 1162 medical students surveyed annually from 2007 through 2010, researchers found that empathy levels decreased as students advanced through four years of medical school (Med Teach. 2012;34:305–311).
“It’s horrible—these students come to be healers and we squish empathy out of them,” said Sian Cotton, PhD, professor and director of the Center for Integrative Health and Wellness at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio.