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Commentary |

Physician Burnout:  A Potential Threat to Successful Health Care Reform

Liselotte N. Dyrbye, MD, MHPE; Tait D. Shanafelt, MD
JAMA. 2011;305(19):2009-2010. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.652.
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Discussions of barriers to successful implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have largely focused on legislative, logistic, and legal hurdles. Notably absent from these discussions is how the health care reform measures may affect the emotional health of physicians.

Burnout is common among physicians in the United States, with an estimated 30% to 40% experiencing burnout.1 Many aspects of patient care may be compromised by burnout. Physicians who have burnout are more likely to report making recent medical errors, score lower on instruments measuring empathy, and plan to retire early and have higher job dissatisfaction, which has been associated with reduced patient satisfaction with medical care and patient adherence to treatment plans.14

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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