Physicians frequently continue to work while ill

January 6, 2018

(HealthDay)—Many physicians continue working and caring for patients while they are sick, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

A new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study reports that four in 10 report to work while experiencing influenza-like symptoms; many physicians work with a cold, fever, or other illness.

According to the article, there are financial penalties associated with missing work when ill, as well as pressure from administrators; missing too much work can result in a being placed under a Performance Improvement Plan, which will stay with the physician if they want to add or change licenses. However, in flat capitated systems, physicians are less likely to practice while unwell. The article also notes that some physicians feel a sense of obligation to their patients that results in their working while sick. However, the level of sickness should be considered when deciding whether to miss a day of work. Medical educators are recognizing that the concept of working while sick is problematic and are introducing topics such as burnout, physician impairment, and self-care in their curricula.

"Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for physicians to go overboard and forget to care about themselves," Matthew Mintz, M.D., an internist from Bethesda, Md., said in the article. "Some of the traditions of , such as long work hours and the value of independence, reinforce that the patient always comes first, no matter the cost."

Explore further: Certain stresses, burnout causing some women to leave medicine

More information: Abstract/Full Text

Related Stories

Certain stresses, burnout causing some women to leave medicine

January 5, 2018
(HealthDay)—Though equal numbers of men and women are now entering medical schools, the majority of physicians are still male, and female physicians face several unique stressors, according to a report published online ...

Most patients satisfied with relationship with physician

October 26, 2017
(HealthDay)—Results of the Physicians Foundation 2017 Patient Survey show that most patients are satisfied with their overall relationship with their physician, according to an article published by the American Academy ...

Many health care providers work while sick

November 19, 2017
(HealthDay)—More than 40 percent of health care personnel (HCP) with influenza-like illness (ILI) work while ill, according to a study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Physicians should be aware of signs of burnout

March 27, 2015
(HealthDay)—Burnout can be prevented if physicians are aware of the warning signs, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

High costs associated with physician burnout, attrition

November 22, 2017
(HealthDay)—Physicians who are experiencing burnout are more than twice as likely to leave their organization within two years, and this is associated with significant economic costs, according to a report from the American ...

Survey findings: Four in ten healthcare professionals work while sick

November 1, 2017
A new study suggests that healthcare professionals (HCPs) should heed to their own advice: stay home when sick.

Recommended for you

It's not just for kids—even adults appear to benefit from a regular bedtime

September 21, 2018
Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But it's not just an issue of logging at least seven hours of Z's.

Most nations falling short of UN targets to cut premature deaths from chronic diseases

September 21, 2018
People in the UK, US and China have a higher risk of dying early from conditions like cancer, heart disease and stroke than people in Italy, France, South Korea and Australia.

Patient-centered visual aid helps physicians discuss risks, treatments with parents

September 21, 2018
A series of illustrations and charts designed as decision aids for parents of children with minor head injuries helped them communicate with emergency medicine physicians and make informed decisions about their child's care, ...

Alcohol responsible for one in 20 deaths worldwide: WHO

September 21, 2018
Alcohol kills three million people worldwide each year—more than AIDS, violence and road accidents combined, the World Health Organization said Friday, adding that men are particularly at risk.

Smart pills dumb down medical care, experts warn

September 21, 2018
Enthusiasm for an emerging digital health tool, the smart pill, is on the rise but researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have published a paper in the American Journal of Bioethics that cautions health care ...

China's doctor shortage prompts rush for AI health care

September 20, 2018
Qu Jianguo, 64, had a futuristic medical visit in Shanghai as he put his wrist through an automated pulse-taking machine and received the result within two minutes on a mobile phone—without a doctor present.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.