In 2011, a group of researchers embarked on a national study to measure burnout among physicians. They found that 45 percent of U.S. doctors met the criteria for burnout, which manifests as emotional exhaustion, a loss of meaning in one’s work, feelings of ineffectiveness, and a tendency to see people as objects rather than fellow humans. Less than a handful of years later, the problem has gotten significantly worse.
According to a new, first-of-its-kind survey of the nation’s public health workforce, 38 percent of workers are planning to leave their current positions before the next decade. On its face, that’s a deeply worrisome number. But Brian Castrucci is an optimist — “where there is change, there is opportunity,” he says.