September 21, 2020
The pandemic has merely worsened what was already a “crisis” of health care worker burnout, said Aisha Terry, an emergency physician in Washington, D.C. Terry also serves on the board of directors of the Irving, Texas-based American College of Emergency Physicians.
Research before the pandemic found that as many as half of doctors reported being burned out, and other studies found up to 20% of nurses and emergency physicians experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The rate of suicide among doctors is more than double that of the general public. The Physicians Foundation survey found that more than one-fifth of doctors know a fellow physician who died by suicide.
Matters have gotten worse half a year into a pandemic, Terry said, but the underlying reasons that health care workers suffer from mental health problems have persisted for a long time.
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