Saturday, August 8, 2020

White Doctors More Likely To Suffer Burnout

Here is one white privilege that is rather unexpected. Researchers at Stanford University have found that white physicians suffer a higher rate of burnout than other races. In a survey of 4,424 doctors, they calculated that white doctors have a burnout rate of 44.7%. This compares with burnouts of 41.7% in Asians, 38.5% Black, and 37.4% Hispanic.

Traditionally, primary care doctors have higher burnout than specialists and minority doctors tend to practice in primary care. However the researchers speculate that white doctors have different expectations of their careers compared to others. Many white physicians come from a multigenerational family of doctors so they may fondly remember the experiences of being a doctor from decades ago. By comparison, minority doctors are more likely to be first or second generation. Therefore the current medical environment doesn't feel so different.

Perhaps burnout is really a matter of expectations. If you feel lucky to be practicing medicine because you're the first one in your family to go to medical school, you'll be less likely to complain about your difficult job than someone who attends a family reunion where all the doctor family members gather to gripe about the government, insurance companies, patients, etc. It's all about perspective.

No comments:

Post a Comment