• Ashley Simpson

Physician Burnout: Causes & Solutions


A survey of physicians found that about 44% experience symptoms of burnout. Compared to other working adults, physicians are more likely to experience burnout due to the nature of their job – packed workdays, demanding pace, extreme time pressures and emotional intensity.


Add a worldwide public health crisis to the nature of a physician’s job and burnout takes on a whole new level. The added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic heightened physician burnout so much so that there was a national spotlight on the issue. While physician burnout remains a pressing issue, let us shed light on a viable solution.


Locums tenens presents an opportunity for physicians to have a work/life balance with control over their schedules while also offering work in desirable locations. Additionally, locum tenens provides higher compensation and a wide network, giving doctors the career benefits they deserve. Locum tenens helps with preventing burnout by allowing physicians:

  • The opportunity to work in multiple environments with a fresh group of co-workers and different patient demographics with each assignment

  • Agency representation that separates physicians from the politics or internal team drama

  • More time to spend with family as a result of limitless time off


Feeling burnt out may seem common and inevitable for a working adult, but it’s incredibly important that physicians avoid this. There’s too much at stake and every second on the job is critical when people’s lives are on the line. As doctors continue to navigate the stresses associated with the ever-changing dynamics of the clinical space, it’s important that we have solutions to help with burnout.


Over the past twelve years, ICON Medical Network has found that giving physicians control and tailoring their work to what they need helps in preventing burnout. ICON predicts locum tenens work will serve as a key solution to physician burnout as the demands in health care continue to rise.

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