News / Halifax

Doctors Nova Scotia survey shows majority of physicians feeling burnout

The professional association representing doctors in Nova Scotia said the survey studied “the work-life issues facing Nova Scotia physicians.”

Toronto Star Staff

Survey results from the professional association representing doctors in Nova Scotia show that a majority of physicians in the province are feeling burned out.

In a news release, Doctors Nova Scotia said the survey, conducted by Dr. Leiter and the Centre for Organizational Research and Development at Acadia University, studied “the work-life issues facing Nova Scotia physicians.”

Of the 372 doctors surveyed, Doctors Nova Scotia said 70 per cent reported “feeling overextended, disengaged, ineffective and/or fully burned out,” 50 per cent reported symptoms of burnout, and another 20 per cent were feeling ineffective.

“Studies indicate that burnout interferes with physicians’ ability to do their work, with negative consequences for quality of care, patient safety and patient satisfaction,” the release said.

“They also report that burned out doctors devote less time to providing clinical care to their patients.”

The release said Leiter’s research showed burnout is “systemic and related to the basic organizations of work,” and contributing factors included “administrative hassles, financial concerns, uncompensated work, billing problems and constraints on physician autonomy.”

Leiter said the key to improving burnt out is improving the relationship between doctors and the provincial health department and the Nova Scotia Health Authority, and 30 per cent of doctors surveyed said they felt “a lack of respect for their professional expertise and autonomy from government.”

Doctors Nova Scotia said it will work towards improving that relationship, and will provide more support for doctors, with representatives in each zone of the province.

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