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Physician burnout viewed as a public health crisis

Daniel Marchalik, MD (photo by Jim Howe)

Daniel Marchalik, MD
(photo by Jim Howe)

Medicine can be a demanding, high-stress profession for doctors, most of whom enter the profession because of a desire to help others. But factors such as maintenance of complicated electronic health records contribute to a growing rate of physician burnout, which has become a national public health crisis, says Daniel Marchalik, MD. He is a urologist from Georgetown University School of Medicine and the medical director of physician well-being at MedStar Health, a not-for-profit health care system in the Maryland/Washington, DC, area. Marchalik was invited to speak at Upstate on physician burnout, which he has studied extensively. He notes areas of physician burnout include emotional exhaustion, depersonalization or callousness, and loss of personal accomplishment and offers suggestions on how the health care system can help prevent burnout among doctors, which also affects their patients and medical students, among others.