Research has found a link between doctor burnout and significant medical errors. These errors could put patients in Pennsylvania and throughout the country in significant danger. Burnout occurs when a person faces extreme emotional fatigue after spending too much time on the job. As many as half of all Americans may be burned out at any given time, and it is more common in jobs that cause a lot of stress.
If a doctor is experiencing burnout, he or she may be prone to ordering too many tests or improperly prescribing medication. Individuals who are burned out may also make errors in diagnosing patients. To preserve the mental health of medical professionals, employers should limit the number of hours they work. There should also be an upper limit as to how much paperwork they are required to do in a given time period.
Researchers acknowledged that many doctors are feeling stressed because of high student loan debt combined with lower salaries. They are being asked to do more for less, which can lead some to harbor thoughts of suicide. By lightening the workload that medical professionals face, it may be possible to reverse the symptoms of burnout. This could allow them to start enjoying their work and feel good about interacting with patients again.
Regardless of why medical errors occur, a patient injured by a negligent doctor could take legal action to seek compensation for medical bills and other damages incurred. An attorney may review a patient's medical records or review doctor statements to determine if negligence occurred. In some cases, expert testimony may be used to establish that a patient was harmed by one or more mistakes made by a doctor.