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Comment & Response
March 4, 2019

Clarifications Needed on Study of Association Between Physician Burnout and Patient Safety

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(4):592-593. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.0146

To the Editor The recently published meta-analysis by Panagioti and colleagues1 coincides with an increasing awareness of burnout among physicians. Almost half of all young physicians in Australia may be experiencing burnout, according to a major mental health survey.2 The implications of burnout have often been considered in terms of the personal consequences for the physician: relationship breakdowns, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation. As the study by Panagioti and colleagues1 demonstrates, there is growing recognition that burnout also results in loss of empathy, decreased productivity, and an increased likelihood of errors or omissions that may reduce the quality of care and patient safety.

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