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Doctor burnout is putting you at risk

You trust your health care to your doctor, and why shouldn't you? After all, he or she went to medical school and spent years studying medicine and the best treatment methods. Leaving it up to your doctor probably feels like a no-brainer. But what if he or she is on the verge of a breakdown? 

Georgia doctors are facing increased workplace pressure that is pushing many into burnout mode. These so-called "burned-out" doctors are more likely to make medical errors, putting your health in jeopardy. 

Burnout is common 

The Mayo Clinic Proceedings asked more than 6,000 doctors whether they experienced burnout or had made a significant medical mistake in the three months leading up to the survey. More than half responded that yes, they experienced burnout from their jobs. One out of 10 admitted to making a serious error. 

So where do these two overlap? Doctors who said they felt burned out reported significantly more medical errors. A different study noted that fatigued doctors, or those even slightly tired, are much more likely to make a mistake. 

Medical errors -- as dangerous as cancer? 

Heart disease and cancer are the number-one causes of death in the United States. Most people can minimize their risk for these diseases by maintaining healthy lifestyles, but avoiding the third most common cause of death -- medical errors -- is much trickier. How do you avoid going to the doctor when you are sick or hurt? 

The cost of medical errors is astronomical. An estimated $200 billion in opportunity costs is lost every year because 250,000 workers either temporarily or permanently leave the workforce after a medical error. Your personal financial impact can be high, too. 

You are not alone 

Injuries caused by medical errors are devastating. These mistakes can exacerbate current injuries, cause further damage and heap medical bills on your shoulders. This can be a truly isolating experience for victims. 

If you were misdiagnosed, given a wrong medication or otherwise injured because of your doctor's mistake, you have options. Many victims in Georgia find that successfully pursuing a medical malpractice suit can help them achieve the compensation they need to address their physical, financial and emotional damages. 

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