There’s been plenty of research into why some patients get over COVID-19 fairly quickly while others struggle for months with postacute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC, more colloquially known as “long COVID”). Now comes word that pandemic-related burnout continues to haunt healthcare providers even as caseloads remain lower than at any other point in years. According to part two (of three) of a survey from The Physician’s Foundation entitled Understanding the State of Physicians’ Wellbeing and Assessing Solutions to Address It Survey, six out of 10 physicians admitted to having felt “inappropriate feelings of anger, tearfulness or anxiety” during the period of June 24–July 3, 2022, while one third acknowledged that they “felt hopeless or that they have no purpose” and half found themselves withdrawing from family, friends, and coworkers to an extent that affected them while at work. All in all, 60% said they would classify their state as being burned out; that’s 20% more than in 2018 before the pandemic began. Unfortunately, the respondents’ perspective on what to do about it doesn’t offer much hope; 80% agree “there is stigma surrounding mental health and seeking mental health care among physicians.” On the brighter side, one third said they themselves had checked in with a colleague they were concerned about. JUCM recognized pandemic burnout as a threat to urgent care early on. To read about the danger signs—and get some insights into practicing self-care and providing support for your teammates—read The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Making Burnout Worse for Physicians Already in Crisis.
Cases Are Down, but Pandemic Burnout Continues to Plague Healthcare Providers