What does physician burnout look like? Imaging provides an answer

12/18/2013 | AuntMinnie.com (free registration)

Burnout affects clinical reasoning and is more prevalent in medical residents than among faculty physicians, a new study suggests. Using functional MRI, researchers measured blood-oxygen-level-dependent signals during clinical reasoning, and the results showed certain BOLD levels were linked with emotional exhaustion and depersonalization in residents' brains, suggesting clinical reasoning may be impaired, according to the study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry. Among faculty doctors, there were no changes in BOLD signals. The research suggests changes such as limiting hours at work might be needed and emphasizes the need for "both cognitive and emotional support," researcher Dr. Steven Durning said.

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