If you've ever had the feeling your doctor is burnt out, chances are you're right. Physicians are busier than ever. And hospitals are worried, as their staff is overwhelmed, the quality of care goes down, and medical errors go up.
Amanda North is a busy doctor at New York's Montefiore Hospital. She's also a mother of three, and shortly after the birth of her youngest, she found herself exhausted and overwhelmed.
"I was stressed 100-percent of the time, and all I could think about was how much I wasn't getting done. All the things I was failing to do rather than focusing on the things I was achieving," North said.
Just a year into her practice, seeing as many as 50-patients a day, she was suffering from physician burnout. A study at the Mayo Clinic found more than half of American doctors have been in the same boat, exhausted and losing their sense of purpose.
Doctor Brenda Boatswain is a Coordinator at Montefiore's Wellness Department, which offers services to overwhelmed doctors. "Stress management skills, mindfulness skills, relaxation and then returning to a sense of balance -- them being aware of what they need to find joy and balance in their lives," she said.
Hospital staff are encouraged to drop in for meditation classes or individual counseling to reduce stress. Doctor North is spreading the word in a recent article on burnout. She says she got her own stress under control.
Reporter Kenneth Craig: How did you get better?
Amanda North: I found meaning in my life.
With the help of exercise and community, she developed a fuller life outside the hospital, so when she's there, she's all in.
Dr. North's research finds burnout is more common among female doctors than males.
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