Recognizing the Signs of Physician Burnout

Physicians May Be Prone to Burnout: Recognize the Warning Signs

Diagnosing Physician Burnout - Special Report

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More than half of U.S. physicians report symptoms of burnout — a 25% increase from 2013 to 2017.¹ This is a serious concern, because physician burnout can lead to patients suffering adverse events² or leave physicians unable to express empathy and compassion with their patients.³

In this special report, the Risk Management Specialists at NORCAL help you identify the signs of physician burnout so you can address it before it harms your practice.


  • Learn why physician burnout is a serious problem.


  • Recognize warning signs of physician burnout.

Best Practices

  • Know the specialties with the highest rates of physician burnout.


Since 1975, NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company has been a policyholder-owned and physician-directed medical professional liability insurance (MPLI) carrier dedicated to ensuring the availability of affordable and relevant coverage. NORCAL provides protection to physicians, health care extenders, medical groups, hospitals, community clinics and allied healthcare professionals across the nation. With its subsidiary companies Medicus Insurance Company, FD Insurance Company, NORCAL Specialty Insurance Company, and its affiliate Preferred Physicians Medical Risk Retention Group, a Mutual Insurance Company, NORCAL Mutual is one of the top ten MPLI carriers in the nation, based on direct written premium.  NORCAL holds an “A” (Excellent) rating by A.M. Best for its financial strength and stability.

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Special Report References

1. Peckham C. “Medscape Lifestyle Report 2017: Race and Ethnicity, Bias and Burnout.” January 11, 2017. (accessed 1/18/17).
2. Lin K. “Does Combatting Physician Burnout Improve Patient Care as Well? (accessed 2/1/17).
3. Nguyen MC, et al. “Improving Patient Safety and Satisfaction by Decreasing Physician Burnout.” March 29, 2016. (accessed 2/1/17).
4. Spickard A, Gabbe SG, Christensen JF. “Mid-career burnout in generalist and specialist physicians.” JAMA 2002; 288: 1447–1450.
5. Riley GJ. “Understanding the stresses and strains of being a doctor.” Medical Journal of Australia 2004; 181: 350–353.
6. De Valk M, Oostrom C. “Burnout in the medical profession: Causes, consequences and solutions.” Occupational Health at Work 2007; 3(6): 1–5.
7. American Medical News. “Nearly half of physicians struggle with burnout.” 2012. (accessed 1/31/17).
8. Leiter M, Maslach C. “Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey Individual Report. Sample Participant Report.” 2017. Available at: (accessed 4/25/17).
9. Eckleberry-Hunt J, et al. “Changing the Conversation From Burnout to Well-Being in Residency Training Programs.” J Grad Med Educ. 2009 Dec;1(2):225–230. Available at: (accessed 1/31/17).
10. Medeconomics. “Spotting the signs of stress.” GP Magazine. 2012 Mar 14; 31.
11. Berry E. “Achieving work-life balance: More than just a juggling act.” American Medical News. 2010 Jan 4. Available at: (accessed 1/31/17).
12. Majumdar A. “Mastering stress and preventing burnout in the job search and beyond.” Practice Link. 2011 Fall. Available at: (accessed 1/31/17).