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The New Zealand Medical Journal

 Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 29-April-2011, Vol 124 No 1333

[full text] [PDF]

Professional burnout a regulatory perspective
Ron Paterson, John Adams

Abstract


When people in industry or government burnout, the resulting inefficiencies and logjams may frustrate and even harm the citizenry. However, the stakes are higher in health care. If doctors and nurses burnout, one of two things is likely to happen: they are forced to stop work because they can no longer cope with the demands of their job, leaving a gap in an already overstretched health workforce; or they soldier on, and in an exhausted state are more likely to make a mistake that harms a patient. In our respective roles as former Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC), and chairman of the Medical Council, we have seen the harm caused by burnout in the medical profession. In this article, we seek to describe the problem and suggest some strategies to address it.

     
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