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by Michael Blanding

Physician burnout costs the United States health care industry $4.6 billion a year, a number that brings a new spotlight to an age-old problem.

In a paper published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine last June, a research team of seven co-authors, most of them doctors, concluded that the dollar losses were related to physician turnover and reduced clinical hours.

The research adds to previous work showing how physician stress generates negative clinical and organizational outcomes. No studies have previously been attempted to put a figure on burnout in the US on a national level. In part, that’s due to the difficulty of calculating the economic cost of all of the factors involved. For instance, some studies have associated burnout with an increase

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