Physicians who feel burned out are far less likely to believe their work has meaning or that it is any longer an important part of their life, a recent study has found, according to the American Medical Association.
The study, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, evaluated a range of responses from approximately 2,200 doctors in order to measure how much they identified with medicine as their calling. They were given the option to reply to questions with answers covering a range of positive feelings, such as "I find my work rewarding," "My work makes the world a better place" and “I would choose my current work life again if I had the opportunity.”
Respondents who were completely burned out had significantly lower
odds than physicians with no burnout to say that work is one of the most
important things in their lives, that their work makes the world a
better place, or that they enjoy talking about their work.
The researchers found that nearly all -- 93 percent -- of the physicians who did not feel burned out said they would choose the same work again, while only 32 percent of those who felt "completely burned out" would do the same.
Respondents who experienced even one burnout symptom identified less with all of the positive responses, sometimes by more than 60 percentage
“At a societal level, the public benefits from having a group of
individuals who are motivated to do work that goes beyond satisfying
personal self-interest,” the study's authors concluded. [P]hysicians who do not view medicine as a calling may assign relatively greater value to their work as a means to earn a living."
The authors said doctors who feel that their work is only a job and not a calling might lose their intrinsic motivation to care for people.
Burned-out doctors might lose meaning, study suggests
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