Improving the mental health of physicians in Canada

PFSP Perspectives

November 14, 2018

Some studies cite burnout as present in half of physicians

Being a doctor today is harder than ever. The Canadian Medical Association has just released the results of the 2017 National Physician Health Survey. First, the good news: nearly 60% of the total respondents stated that their overall mental health was flourishing and 82% of participating residents and physicians described their resilience as high. However, key areas of concern were also identified:

  • 1 in 4 physicians reported high levels of burnout.
  • 1 in 3 screened positive for depression.
  • 8% of respondents had suicidal ideation in the past 12 months.
  • Rates of burnout, depression and suicidal ideation were noted to be higher among residents than physicians and higher among women than men.

The Canadian data is mostly in line with what is seen in similar studies from other countries, although other studies cite burnout as present in half of physicians. This data, an update from the 2008 CMA survey data, provides recent and relevant national information on the health status of physicians in Canada, upon which we can now more meaningfully act.

What is causing such high levels of burnout, which can lead to depression and suicidal ideation?

Read full article.

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