Survey finds burnout leads physicians to neglect self-care

Physicians faced with job stresses, family demands and constraints on their time are pushing self-care aside, a survey conducted by the Harris Poll reveals.

"Doctors seem to understand the physical as well as mental, emotional and social value of engaging in self-care, and that’s encouraging because we are in a powerful position to help promote self-care among our patients," Wayne Jonas, MD, executive director of Samueli Integrative Health Programs said in a news release. "But when it comes to their own self-care, many physicians are falling short, which perhaps is one reason for the clinician burnout crisis facing our country."

While 80 percent of physicians said practicing self-care was very important to them, only 57 percent said they practice it often, and 72 percent of them cited lack of time as a reason. Twenty-five percent of physicians cited burnout as a reason for neglecting self-care, and 45 percent said family demands contribute to their lack of self-care.

The top form of self-care among physicians, at 83 percent, was expercise, followed by eating healthy foods, at 81 percent, and maintaining healthy relationships at 77 percent.

The Harris Poll, conducted on behalf of Samueli Integrative Health Programs, surveyed 300 family and internal medicine physicians and 1,000 U.S. adults between May and June.

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