Burnout, characterized by emotional exhaustion as well as feeling cynical, ineffective or unaccomplished at work, is bad for both employees and employers.
For doctors and hospitals, though, the ramifications can be especially dire. Doctors in the U.S. experience symptoms of burnout at almost twice the rate of other workers, often citing as contributors the long hours, a fear of being sued, and having to deal with growing bureaucracy, like filling out clunky and time-consuming electronic medical records. Burned-out doctors tend to make more medical errors, and their patients have worse outcomes and are less satisfied. Doctors also have higher rates of suicide than the general population, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.