Pandemic Demands Push Doctors From Medicine
The Coronavirus Pandemic has been tough on most of us. Tell me something I don't know. The virus frightens us, threatens us and has driven us to change change our behaviors and lifestyles--and that includes the very doctors we look to to save us.
United Press International (UPI) reports on a survey by The Physicians Foundation of more than 3,000 U.S. physicians to determine the impact COVID-19 has had on medical practices. One significant discovery points out the emotional toll fighting Coronavirus has had on doctors.
Survey say - eight percent of physicians had closed their practices, a number considered “staggering,” and four percent of doctors planned to close up shop within 12 months.
The majority reported losing income during the pandemic, that could be expected. But 58 percent of doctors reported feeling burnout, much higher than 40 percent who said the same just two years ago. "Key findings about emotional impacts of COVID-19 included that half of physicians had experienced inappropriate anger, tearfulness or anxiety as a result of the pandemic. About 30% felt hopeless, and 8% had thoughts of self-harm. Others turned to drugs and alcohol or sought mental health help"
The number one source of frustration for physicians was the lack of adherence of the public to the requested safety pandemic guidelines, in particular wearing masks and social distancing.
Even without the crushing effects of the pandemic, a growing shortage of physicians is expected to occur over the next 10 years. In July, the Association of American Medical Colleges estimated there will be a shortage of up to 139,000 physicians in the United States by 2033.