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IL license lawyerAt some point, we have all felt exhausted, cynical, or unhappy with our jobs. This is called burnout and it can have negative effects on job performance and personal happiness. Physician burnout has been one of the topics of concern among the medical community for a few years now. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), more than 40 percent of all physicians in the United States report experiencing signs of burnout. Physician burnout has been linked to higher rates of medical errors, lower quality of patient care, and a higher rate of physician drug and alcohol abuse and/or addiction. Physician burnout and its associated outcomes could have serious implications for your Illinois medical license.

Signs of Burnout

Burnout is a long-term response to work-related stress that is characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and diminished feelings of personal accomplishment. Burnout is not unique to medical professions, but physicians tend to be more prone than others. Other symptoms of burnout can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of empathy
  • Cynical or negative attitudes toward patients
  • Decreased productivity
  • Detachment
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Effects of Burnout

Physician burnout has been considered by many to be an epidemic that is consistent with providers across the country. Not only does burnout severely impact the provider’s own physical and mental health, but it can also impact their job performance, future job prospects, and patient care and health. According to a study published by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, physicians who reported symptoms of burnout were more than twice as likely to make a medical error than physicians who did not report symptoms of burnout.

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IL medical license defense attorneyAccording to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, there are around 3,000 complaints filed each year against doctors and other medical professionals. There are many reasons why a physician or medical professional could have a complaint lodged against him or her -- and there are 50 different actions specified in the Illinois Medical Practice Act of 1987 that could result in disciplinary action against a physician. Some of the most common complaints include unprofessional conduct and substandard care, but any complaint is a possible threat to your medical license. It is important to understand the process of a complaint if you have one filed against you.

Initial Claims Are Made

When an initial claim is made to the Board about allegations against a physician or other professional, the complaint process is started. The disciplinary board will provide the complainant with information about the complaint process and information on whether or not the claim has become a complaint and why. The claims are forwarded to the Chief of Medical Investigations to determine whether or not the claim will become a complaint.

Claims Are Examined

Once the Chief receives a claim, they will examine all information and determine if the claim becomes a complaint. If the claim does not become a complaint, the Chief will submit his or her findings on why the claim has not progressed and his or her recommendations for closure. If the claim does become a complaint, the Chief will work with a medical coordinator to determine if the complaint is ready for immediate consideration for prosecution potential.

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