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Growing number of female minority doctors in California leave jobs due to burnout, study shows

Study shows more female minority doctors in California leave jobs due to burnout
Study shows more female minority doctors in California leave jobs due to burnout 02:20

SACRAMENTO — A recent study by the nonprofit Physicians for a Healthy California reveals a growing number of minority female doctors are feeling burned out and leaving their field of work.

Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, the president and CEO of Physicians For a Healthy California, said that nearly half—47%—of all women physicians of color said they felt burnout and were concerned about their wellbeing.

That's a significant increase from the same study conducted in 2018.

Alonzo-Diaz is also the co-author of the study "A Prescription For Change." Female physicians of color are drowning in work, feeling undervalued and, in many cases, experiencing discrimination and racial bias, she said.

Aside from the burnout at work, many juggle responsibilities at home.

"By the time that they got to work, they were already on their second shift, meaning that they're taking care of their children," Alonzo-Diaz said. "They're also parenting their parents, so they truly are the sandwich generation in addition to other experiences."

Alonzo-Diaz added that with a nationwide shortage of primary care doctors, there's an urgent need to retain female physicians of color because they're filling critical roles in our communities.

"They're much more likely to go and practice in those underserved communities where we have low-income, under-resourced communities, we have immigrant and refugee communities, we have communities with low health literacy," she said.

So what are some solutions to retaining more female physicians of color?

"Health care organizations can acknowledge, understand and create policies and practices in their places of employment to support and address the causes of burnout," Alonzo-Diaz said.

The study suggests other recommendations like allowing anonymous employee feedback and compensating them for their work in equity, diversity and inclusion roles.

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