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Former Doctors NS president not surprised burnout has doubled across Canada

A survey conducted by the Canadian Medical Association late last year showed 53 percent of 4,000 physicians are experiencing high levels of burnout
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A new survey showing the rate of doctor burnout has doubled across the country comes as no surprise to the former president of Doctors Nova Scotia.

A survey conducted by the Canadian Medical Association late last year showed 53 percent of 4,000 physicians are experiencing high levels of burnout.

That's up from roughly 30 percent from four years before.

Dr. John Chiasson is the director of the Doctors Nova Scotia professional support program and he told CityNews Halifax he's not surprised by these findings.

"The whole world is burnt out right now," said Chiasson. "We saw five years ago with Doctors Nova Scotia, our survey of 3,000 members had 10 percent respond. Of that, 50 percent of them at that time had experienced exhaustion and cynicism, two of the big markers for burnout. And I dare say, it's worse since then."

Chiasson said the pandemic has compounded with systemic pressures doctors had already been facing, adding this issue is not unique to physicians.

"We're not the only ones, I deal with veterinarians and dentists, they feel the same exhaustion," he said. "Eighty percent of what's going on and the way we feel comes from the systems we live in and high expectations. People are demanding more and more and we have less and less resources to deliver that with."

The survey also found that 46 per cent of doctors are considering reducing their clinical work in the next two years.

"We're having new generations coming in who understand that if you are exhausted and tired, the kind of care you deliver is substandard," said Chiasson. "They're taking control of their hours so they can actually recover. They're getting this back on track so they can show up ready, willing and able to work and provide high quality care for people, including Nova Scotians."
 



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Chris Halef

About the Author: Chris Halef

Chris is a reporter for HalifaxToday.ca and NEWS 95.7. In 2018, he won the RTDNA Dave Rogers Award for best short feature.
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