The coronavirus pandemic has presented numerous challenges for medical professionals, and may be adding to an already alarming crisis of physician burnout.
The pandemic has led to longer hours, harsh conditions, safety concerns and staff shortages at many medical facilities.
"COVID-19 has made worse a national issue with physician stress and burnout that has caused many to leave or not start a career in medicine—or to continue without addressing their behavioral health needs," said Mitchell Best, CEO of Minneapolis-based VITAL WorkLife.
Suicide rates among medical professional are also a concern, according to Best, with rates double that of the general population.
The 2020 Medscape National Physician Burnout & Suicide Report found 42% of physicians have reported feeling burned out. Experts say the negative effects of the pandemic could add to that, and continue for years to come, with feelings of trauma, PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
VITAL WorkLife recently teamed up with the Medical Society of Virginia to launch SafeHaven, offering well-being resources for physicians, without risk to their medical license. It follows a new state law in Virginia that established a program offering physicians legal protection when seeking support through behavioral health resources.
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