Maybe you’ve seen images of smiling doctors attending to grateful patients. Promotional materials for health care insurance, private clinics and medical school are full of them. It turns out the reality is not quite like that.
A 2018 study found that 54% of doctors reported burnout, and 6.5% had contemplated killing themselves.
What does that have to do with you as a patient? Quite a lot. One in ten had made at least one serious mistake in the previous three months. One in twenty of those mistakes was deadly. As a patient, you need your doctor to be at the top of their game when they attend to you. So does every other patient.
Why are physicians having such a rough time?
It’s stressful. Doctors need to make big calls in a hectic atmosphere. They are under pressure to get through their patient list fast. Remember, the survey is from 2018. There is a good chance things have worsened due to events of the past few years and increased staff shortages.
The medical profession knows this. Medical teams need to take great care to help each other out and make the right decisions. Hospitals need systems in place to encourage reporting of errors. They need to provide continual training and make it easier for staff to access the necessary information. Yet it does not always happen.
If you suffer an injury while in the hospital due to a doctor’s mistake and can prove negligence, you may be able to file for medical malpractice against the doctor or hospital. Looking after patients might not be easy, but it is what they are paid for.