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Factors that lead to physician burnout and medical errors

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2019 | Medical Malpractice |

When patients see their Missouri-based doctor for either a checkup or serious medical concern, they hope to receive the absolute best care and medical attention. Unfortunately, several medical errors can result from doctors who feel burnt out.   

The National Center for Biotechnology Information provides common reasons for physician burnout. Understanding why doctors may not perform at their best can help patients avoid becoming victims of medical malpractice. 


Some doctors are harder on themselves than others. Being overly critical of one’s personal work performance, reaching for unhealthy levels of perfection and having poor (or nonexistent) boundaries between work and personal life can lead to overexertion.  

Work environment  

It is easier for doctors to perform at their best while working in a supportive and well-organized environment. Heavy workloads, being on call more often than not, taking work home and comprehensive documentation can put a toll on a physician’s overall performance. According to Stanford Medicine, even if a doctor works in a poor safety environment, that does not pose as much of a risk as burnout.    


Proper workplace management helps combat burnout. Examples of poor workplace management include low interpersonal cooperation, lackluster advancement opportunities and heavy workloads. Oftentimes, it is most productive to give doctors more agency when it comes to workplace complications.  

Less time spent with patients  

Physicians who spend more time on paperwork and other administrative tasks often have less time to take care of patients. This increased workload boosts the chances of burnout and doctors experiencing overall despondency about their work performance and career trajectory.  

Medical care facilities need to implement a proper approach to defuse and get ahead of burnout. Doing so benefits doctors and patients alike. 

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