Surgeons across a variety of specializations are suffering burn-out in a big way, a new survey reveals. More disturbing? A large number admitted to making major medical mistakes as a result.
According to a recent survey, surgeons who feel depressed or burned out are the ones most likely to admit making major mistakes during an operation.
The American College of Surgeons commissioned a survey in June 2008 that included nearly 8,000 participating doctors. The results showed that nine percent of them admitted to making a major medical mistake during the previous three months.
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Also, 40 percent of the doctors who participated in the survey admitted to being burned out. The surgeons worked in a variety of fields and areas of specialization.
Dr. Charles Balch of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who was involved with the study, said that doctors tend to blame their mistakes on fatigue from working long hours. But it seems depression and career burnout are bigger factors than ever reported before. And when they lead to mistakes during surgery, it may be the patient who suffers the most.