Emphasis on timely patient flow, reducing wait times, and maximizing provider efficiency may leave urgent care clinicians at greater risk for burnout than ever before—and that’s on top of the pressures reported in a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The data show that burnout rates, depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation among physicians are going up and that satisfaction with work–life balance is going down. Fifty-four percent of the subjects reported at least one symptom of burnout as defined by the Maslach Burnout Inventory—up from 45 percent in 2011. Hours worked per week, specialty, and practice setting were all called out as factors that can influence both burnout and satisfaction with work–life balance. The study did not address the urgent care setting specifically, but given the overlap in issues providers face in the family medicine and emergency settings the results may serve as a wake-up call that preventive measures may be in order. The authors suggested that reducing operational inefficiencies, administrative burden, and inflexibility could be effective in reducing risk for burnout.
Physician Burnout Is on the Rise