“One in five physicians say it is likely they will leave their current practice within two years. Meanwhile, about one in three doctors and other health professionals say they intend to reduce work hours in the next 12 months, according to recently published survey research.
“Researchers based their findings on more than 20,000 respondents at 124 institutions across the country. They found that burnout, workload, fear of infection, anxiety or depression due to COVID-19 and the number of years in practice were associated with intent to reduce work hours or leave, says the article published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovation, Quality & Outcomes, ‘COVID-Related Stress and Work Intentions in a Sample of U.S. Health Care Workers.’
“While we anticipated that the stress of the pandemic would impact the people providing care, the extent of stress and the percentage of workers considering leaving is worrisome,” said the study’s lead author, Christine Sinsky, MD, the AMA’s vice president of professional satisfaction.
‘Our study demonstrates that the U.S. health care workforce is in peril. If even one-third to one-half of nurses and physicians carry out their expressed intentions to cut back or leave, we won’t have enough staff to meet the needs of patients.’
“Dr. Sinsky noted that medical assistants and nursing assistants experienced some of the highest degrees of COVID-related stress and that health care organizations nationwide are having a tough time filling medical assistant positions. It’s leaving clinics shorthanded and adding to the work and stress of the rest of the care team, including physicians.
“To maintain access for patients and to prevent the remaining clinicians from being overwhelmed, we need to stem the loss of health care workers,” she said.