High number of Portuguese doctors suffer from burnout

in News · 21-02-2019 10:37:00 · 0 Comments
High number of Portuguese doctors suffer from burnout

Burnout and depression are having a significant effect on doctors. Nearly 20,000 doctors in six countries, including Portugal and the UK responded to the survey, with results revealing that more than one in three feels burned out and one in ten experiences both burn out and depression.

Physicians from Portugal reported considerably higher levels of burnout, totalling almost half of all those interviewed.

Burnout and depression are having a significant effect on the global medical community, as demonstrated by Medscape’s Global Physicians’ Burnout and Lifestyle Comparisons report.

Physicians from Portugal and Spain reported considerably higher levels of burnout than their counterparts in other countries, (47 percent and 43 percent respectively).

By contrast, German doctors were the least burned out, at 21 percent. Regarding depression, however, nearly one in four German physicians reported being depressed, followed by French physicians, with only 6 percent reporting depression.

Most physicians report that it is unhappiness with work that is the key factor for burnout and depression; the majority in most countries reporting they are “extremely happy” with their personal lives, ranging from 65 percent of physicians in Spain to 50 percent in Portugal.

Common themes driving burnout were excessive bureaucratic tasks (response rates ranged from 47 percent in the UK and Spain to 56 percent in the US and Portugal), spending too many hours at work (rates ranged from 26 percent in Spain to 51 percent in Portugal) and a lack of respect from administrators and employers (rates ranged from 25 percent in the US to 40 percent in Portugal).

The majority of doctors said they had not sought professional help for burnout and/or depression (58 percent), with reasons ranging from symptoms not being severe enough (46 percent), being too busy to address them (33 percent) or thinking they could manage the situation without professional help (38 percent).

In addition to examining the underlying professional causes of burnout and depression, the report also looked into doctors’ lifestyles.
Despite dispensing lifestyle advice to patients, doctors admitted to exercising infrequently, with only 2 percent-11 percent exercising daily.

One in five (21 percent) in France and a quarter (24 percent) in Portugal confessed to not exercising at all.

“Medscape’s first global comparison report on doctor burnout and depression shows that far too many are experiencing burnout, predominantly from excessive bureaucracy,” said Veronique Duqueroy, Editorial Director of Medscape Global and co-author of the report.

“Most doctors have no help in the workplace, and in some cases, are thinking of leaving medicine as the only solution. Clearly, our report shows that there is much to be done to improve the working conditions of doctors, regardless of where they practice, to the benefit of doctors and their patients.”


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