Why Burnout Rates Are Higher Among Female Surgeons

Photo by gpointstudio/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by gpointstudio/iStock / Getty Images

A recent article published in Modern Medicine discusses the prevalence of burnout among female physicians and why women doctors are more prone to work burnout than their male counterparts. In this article, we are going to discuss why women surgeons have higher burnout rates compared to men, as well as some burnout prevention tips.

Are Women More Burned Out Than Men?

Statistically, women physicians are experiencing more burnout in the workplace than men. But why is that? Doctors of both genders have to deal with long work hours, patient concerns, bureaucratic tasks, and more at work – all of which can contribute to burnout. On top of that, many women experience “role strain” as they juggle various roles as physician, spouse, mother, etc. Compared to their male counterparts, female physicians are more likely to take on household and childcare responsibilities. Female doctors are also more likely to accommodate their work schedules around household and family events. As a result, many female doctors effectively start a “second shift” when they get home from their job – managing household tasks and taking care of children. Juggling the operating room and added stresses of a surgeon often make this even more difficult.

A lot of these factors are the result of outdated social norms. While more and more female physicians are entering the field of medicine every year, these norms can be difficult to break. Most surgeons also have an inner critic and may be comparing themselves to others in a previous generation or to those who make it look so easy. The ways in which women and men experience burnout can also differ significantly.

Burnout Prevention Tips

With female physicians at a greater risk of burnout, what can be done to prevent burnout before it strikes? Here are a few tips:

  • Set Boundaries.

  • Learn When & How to Say No

  • Communicate Effectively with your Co-workers & Family

  • Recognize the Signs of Burnout

SurgeonMasters & The 8 PRACTICEs of Highly Successful Surgeons

SurgeonMasters is a group of like-minded surgeons (both male and female) of various backgrounds and specialties. Our goal is to create successful and sustainable practices and healthy lifestyles by providing educational resources, as well as a place for surgeons to share their stories and support one another. As a collective, we aim to implement The 8  PRACTICEs of Highly Successful Surgeons into work and home life. The 8 PRACTICEs is a methodology I developed after dealing with burnout first-hand. These PRACTICEs promote work / life balance and rhythm and are applicable to both male and female surgeons.

Source article: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/marriage-children-cause-more-burnout-female-physicians?GUID=372B852B-2A5D-4711-A0BD-0A1CD38BED93&rememberme=1&ts=15042017

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