SOURCE: Weatherby Healthcare

Weatherby Healthcare

May 16, 2012 09:10 ET

Physicians Sacrifice Personal Health to Practice Medicine

Weatherby Healthcare Survey Reveals Demanding Schedule Raises Burnout Concerns

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwire - May 16, 2012) - While physicians tell patients to exercise and de-stress, they are not practicing this healthy advice themselves. A survey from Weatherby Healthcare ( finds more than 82 percent of those surveyed forgo personal activities such as hobbies, working out, and family time because of busy work schedules.

Like the patients they serve, doctors need adequate time to cope with stressors from work in order to be effective on the job. A top way to de-stress is exercise and a whopping 44 percent of physicians say they don't have time to do so because of busy work schedules. Other lifestyle choices doctors face result in:

  • 43 percent don't go on vacations
  • 38 percent miss out on family time
  • 41 percent would like more time for volunteer work
  • 42 percent forgo their hobbies

Many physicians feel they must retire, close their practice, or even change careers to achieve a work-life balance and avoid burnout. By becoming a locum tenens, a physician that fills an open position in a medical facility for a specific period of time, practitioners can create a more flexible schedule based on where and how often they would like to work. With 94 percent of physicians saying they would like a more accommodating schedule while maintaining credibility and regular patients, this could be a viable option.

"It's alarming that forty-six percent of physicians don't feel a flexible work schedule is possible in the medical field," said Pat Kennedy, President of Weatherby Healthcare. "Locum tenens have the opportunity to make their own schedule based on how often and where they would like to work, giving them control to create a work/life balance, improving patient care and their quality of work."

For physicians, experiencing new environments is not only educational, but enjoyable. In fact, 45 percent of physicians are interested in working in a different city or town, and 54 percent of those physicians would make the move for an adventure. Traveling for full time physicians can be very limited due to their demanding work schedules.

Locum tenens provide a solution for physicians trying to achieve a better work/life balance. Practitioners are able to create a flexible schedule based on where and how often they would like to work. This balance results in better quality care and patient satisfaction.

"This country is losing the experience, skill and wisdom of senior physicians because of burnout," said Dr. Duane Gainsburg, neurosurgeon with Weatherby Healthcare. "In private practice, I wasn't able to deliver the best care I was capable of due to all the distractions and missed professional opportunity. By moving my career into the locum tenens venue, these are issues of the past."

Survey Methodology

The Weatherby Healthcare Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 U.S. physicians ages 25+, between February 3rd and February 17th 2012, using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. A full methodology is available.

About Weatherby Healthcare

Weatherby Healthcare is an elite staffing firm recognized for its superior Red Ribbon Service. Established in 1995, the company specializes in providing quality locum tenens physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners to the nation's top hospitals and healthcare facilities. It is also a winner of numerous industry and workplace awards. To see why, visit

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    Mary Biljanic
    Weatherby Healthcare
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