Dr W. Clay Jackson: Clinician Burnout Impacts Both Personal and Patient Outcomes

W. Clay Jackson, MD, DipTh, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry, department of family medicine, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, discusses how clinician burnout impacts not only personal outcomes, but also patient outcomes.

W. Clay Jackson, MD, DipTh, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry, department of family medicine, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, discusses how clinician burnout impacts not only personal outcomes, but also patient outcomes.

TranscriptHow does clinician burnout impact not only personal outcomes, but also patient outcomes?

We’re really discovering that clinicians who are not well don’t do well. They don’t do well for themselves, families, communities, but they also don’t do well for patients. There have been some recent self-reports of suboptimal care that give us grave concern regarding the effects of burnout on both medical performance and surgical performance.

There was a study of approximately 8000 surgeons that was retrospective. They looked at the last 90 days and said have you had a major medical error? And in all 3 areas of burnout, we found that surgeons who experience these areas of burnout were much more likely than their colleagues to report a major medical error. There’ also a study of internal medicine residents, and during residency training, there’s a great risk of burnout because clinicians are increasing in terms of their complexity of task they’re asked to perform and they’re at the lower end of the training scale, in terms of experience.

Internal medicine residents were 3 times as likely to report medical errors if they had burnout than if they did not.