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Mayo official acknowledges professional burnout is rising

Drew Kelly

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Job fatigue among doctors in Wisconsin is higher than the national average.

That’s what a study from the Wisconsin Medical Society shows which the organization says is alarming.

A survey of over 1,000 doctors to find out their level of stress and fatigue over the job show that over half experience at least one symptom of burnout.

Tom Grau with Mayo Health System in La Crosse says the ever increasing load of electronic patient records is one factor.

“It takes us away from face to face time with patients. They went into medicine because they want to take care of people. With the current system we’re spending more and more time on the computer, and it feels like clerical work.”

Grau says they also are trying to implement less stressful working conditions during shifts, so they can be mentally ready the next day.

The numbers are rising at the same time that more doctors are retiring, further exacerbating the problem.

Grau says, “Many current physicians wouldn’t recommend their children follow in their footsteps. We have to fix the system and figure out different ways to train as younger people enter the profession.”

The suicide rate of physicians is twice the rate of those in the military.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.