No More Applause: Healthcare Workers Now Being Shunned During COVID-19

November 1, 2020


A new poll from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and Morning Consult addresses the issue of mental health among physicians during this pandemic.

The poll finds that despite the toll that serving on the front lines of COVID-19 is having on emergency physicians, many do not seek any kind of mental health treatment.

The poll found that nearly 90 percent of emergency physicians say they are more stressed since the start of COVID-19. Additionally, 72 percent report experiencing more professional burnout.

As for the causes of their stress or burnout, 4 in 5 emergency physicians cite concerns about family, friends, and personal health, while 3 in 5 cite job or financial security concerns and lack of personal protective equipment.

Despite the availability of services, the survey found that nearly half (45 percent) of emergency physicians are not comfortable seeking mental health treatment.

The poll also shows that stigma in the workplace (73 percent) and fear of professional reprisal (57 percent) are the primary barriers preventing emergency physicians from getting the mental healthcare they need.

As a result, more than a quarter (27 percent) of emergency physicians have avoided seeking mental health treatment out of concern for their job.

In a press statement, Dr. Mark Rosenberg, MBA, and president of ACEP, said the poll “adds real urgency to the need for emergency physicians, policymakers, and clinical leaders to work together to change our approach to mental health.”

He added, “Every health care professional, especially those on the frontlines of the pandemic, should be able to address their mental health without fear of judgement or consequences.”

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