Physician burnout is a growing problem in healthcare, especially for trauma surgeons and other emergency providers. While burnout can create serious physical and mental health challenges for trauma physicians, it also puts trauma programs at risk.
Clearly, physicians who are edging toward burnout are more likely to resign and seek other employment. The problem is that in many hospitals, losing even one trauma surgeon will leave the entire program short-staffed.
Insufficient staffing can easily put a hospital’s trauma center designation at risk. Several level II trauma centers have lost their verification because they were trying to run their program with just two or three trauma surgeons.
Exacerbating this problem is the growing shortage of qualified trauma surgeons. In the current environment, trauma program leaders need to do everything they can to keep their medical staff emotionally healthy and ready for work. The first step is to identify the root causes of burnout among trauma physicians: