Time Off Isn’t Really Off-Time for Most Docs, Study Finds

A study found that about 20% of US physicians took less than one week of vacation in the previous year, and 70% reported working on days off to handle patient-related tasks. Burnout was more likely among doctors who worked more during vacations and lacked coverage for electronic health messages. The study suggested physicians need more time off to recharge but that many face barriers to taking extended vacations. Research linked lower burnout rates to additional vacation time and full electronic health record inbox coverage. Study limitations include a low participation rate and lack of insight into causation. Physicians struggle with moral obligations to patients and foresee work piling up upon their return from vacation. Official recommendations include planning vacations ahead and finding appropriate coverage for clinical work.

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