Nearly half of American physicians (44%) report being burned out, and 15% are depressed. These startling figures, revealed in a recent survey conducted by Medscape, may be shocking to many people – but to doctors working in the field, the survey results come as no surprise.

Not only are our physicians suffering, but their mental distress can have an impact on how their patients are treated as well.

A doctor shows a chart to a patient

Doctors who suffer from burnout may become frustrated with patients more quickly

According to the survey report by Reuters Health:

  • 14% of physicians said they made errors they might not ordinarily make [as a result of their depression]
  • 16% are more apt to express frustration in front of the patient
  • 26% say they are less motivated to be careful taking patient notes

Perhaps the most frightening statistic to come from the survey, however, is that 64% percent of doctors who took the survey have no intent to seek help for their depression and burnout, nor have they done so in the past. Only 13% reported that they were currently receiving or seeking professional help, with a mere 3% planning to do so.

Another recent report, A Crisis in Health Care: A Call to Action on Physician Burnout, finds that burnout rates are only getting worse, with 78% of physicians feeling burned out “at least sometimes,” marking an increase of 4% since 2016. This report attempts to put the impact of the crisis in perspective:

“Overall, burnout contributes to a 1% reduction in physicians’ work effort [which] roughly equates to losing the graduates of seven medical schools annually — before accounting for other outcomes of burnout such as early retirement or leaving the profession altogether.”

But what is causing all this burnout? An overwhelming amount of administrative work is at the top of the list, followed by long work hours and the technological demands of electronic records systems. In a profession that is already high-pressure by its very nature, these additional demands and expectations can be too much to bear.

A chart showing the causes of physician burnout

Source: Medscape National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2019

Ironically, the very professionals who are entrusted with the health of their patients are watching their own wellbeing fall to the wayside. Even those whose focus is on the mental health of their patients are not impervious to this dangerous trend; 39% of psychiatrists report being burned out or depressed.

While it’s clear that significant changes are needed to improve the physician burnout crisis, it is essential for doctors to care for their physical and mental wellbeing in the meantime – not only for their own sake, but to provide responsibly for their patients as well.

Stressful elements are inherent in the medical profession, but there are manageable and realistic ways for physicians to take care of themselves. Alpha-Stim® is a perfect option for our nation’s exhausted and run-down medical professionals. It is an FDA cleared, handheld non-drug medical device proven to safely and effectively treat anxiety, insomnia, and depression – all of which can be brought on by stress and burnout.

Alpha-Stim has already earned the respect of other high-stress professions: the Dayton, Ohio police force participated in a study to evaluate Alpha-Stim’s effectiveness on police stress, with great success. Likewise, the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center found Alpha-Stim to be significantly effective at improving the mental health of active duty Service Members.

A man uses Alpha-Stim

Alpha-Stim® can be used discreetly at home or in the office.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents in the Medline survey reported that they did not seek mental health care because they did not have enough time to spare in their busy schedules. Alpha-Stim is portable and convenient – ideal for use at home or at work without being disruptive to tasks at hand. And since it’s not a drug, there is no risk of addiction or lasting side effects that might interfere with a physician’s ability to perform their job well.

With Alpha-Stim, results are cumulative – the more you use it, the more effective it becomes, and the less often you’ll need it. Perhaps best of all, Alpha-Stim works within just a few minutes of use, faster than a pill can be metabolized, and it costs less, too!

Physician burnout is a public health crisis, but we are here to help. Backed by over 100 independent clinical research studies and decades of experience, we’re confident we can bring relief to burned out physicians. We’re experts at making people feel better – and doctors deserve to feel great, too.

About Alpha-Stim®

Alpha-Stim uses cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) delivered through a patented waveform via two earclip electrodes to treat anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Microcurrent electrical therapy (MET) delivers pain relief directly to the source of discomfort via two handheld Smart Probes.

The safety and effectiveness of Alpha-Stim is backed by over 100 independent clinical research studies.

Alpha-Stim is available by prescription in the United States and over-the-counter in other countries. Get started today!