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When Burnout Affects Healthcare Physicians And Its Effect On Working Mothers

HealthLeaders Media reported that nearly half of physicians nationwide are experiencing burnout symptoms. A study published in October found burnout increases the odds of physician involvement in patient safety incidents, unprofessionalism, and lower patient satisfaction. Burnout has also been linked to negative financial effects on physician practices and other healthcare organizations. 

What’s Causing Physician Burnout 

Physicians face the dilemma of serving two masters: the health care delivery system and the patient,” says Tom Miller, Chief Medical Officer, University of Utah Health.

The operational and financial demands placed on physicians from the healthcare providers means that physicians have less time with patients. But that also doesn’t allow them time to focus on or improve patient health outcomes. 

Avoid Harming The Patient Experience 

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 created a hospital reward system that focuses on quality of care and maintenance of high levels of patient satisfaction. As a result, one of the changes made to Medicare involves linking part of hospital pay to patient satisfaction. Physicians are experiencing added pressure and burnout. Patients are underserved due to the time crunch, not feeling like they’re being heard, and spending less time with their doctor. 

The Effect On Maternal Healthcare 

In the current environment, there’s a greater chance of the mental health problems of working moms. In fact, they might go undiagnosed by physicians. These women are spending less time with their doctors, and mental health problems are often undiagnosed.

This is because many of its core features (such as fatigue and poor sleep) are also commonly associated with work/life-balance itself and part of the gender stereotype of what motherhood should include. These symptoms and signs are not trivial conditions. 

According to the World Health Organization, more than 135 million women give birth every year, and worldwide about 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth experience a mental disorder, primarily depression. In severe cases, mothers’ suffering might be so severe that they may even commit suicide. Also, affected mothers cannot function properly. Not only does this affect mothers returning to the workforce, but also the child’s growth and development. 

When you consider working moms do more of the intellectual, mental, and emotional work at home, maintaining a healthy balance of professional and personal responsibilities might be one of the biggest health challenges these moms face. 

Maternal mental disorders are treatable, and effective interventions can be delivered by health providers. But unfortunately, non-specialized health providers, non-profit organizations, must help mothers identify and manage their mental health. 


Working moms are spending less time with their physicians during medical visits, but it’s not always the physician’s fault. Physician burnout is affecting the quality of care working mothers receive.

In other instances, working moms must fight to be heard by their physicians. The intellectual, mental, and emotional challenges of mothers shouldn’t be ignored. Recent research published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that, on average, clinicians listen to patients for 11 seconds before interrupting them. Physician burnout is affecting the quality of care working mothers receive. However, it is unacceptable for any woman to allow it to interfere with their mental health. 

Read more on how burnout affects healthcare physicians and its effect on working mothers. 


Healthcare Physicians

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