With levels of burnout surging and professional fulfillment plunging in the pandemic’s long wake, it would seem wise to ensure that physicians are allotted more than their share of vacation time to recuperate.

But a survey of 3,024 U.S. physicians recently published in JAMA Network Open reveals the precise opposite is happening.

Nearly 60% of respondents have taken 15 or fewer vacation days during the last 12 months. Even while they were away, most couldn’t escape the grind: only 30% of respondents didn’t devote any time to patientrelated work.

No, people don’t stop catching colds or spraining ankles or rupturing spleens when their doctors are on vacation. But at some point, we as a society need to commit to taking care of our physicians as well as they’re taking care of us.

Physician Burnout: Share of vacation time

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Chart showing physician burnout using share of vacation time. Go Figure January February 2024

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<a href="https://www.mmm-online.com/home/channel/features/punch-the-clock-doctors-cant-catch-a-break/"><img style="width:100%;" src="https://www.mmm-online.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2024/01/011-MMMJanFeb_2024_web-807x1024.jpg"></a><br>Physician Burnout: Share of vacation time<a href="https://www.mmm-online.com/home/channel/features/punch-the-clock-doctors-cant-catch-a-break/">Physician Burnout: Share of vacation time</a>

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