The health care profession is characterized by long workdays, a fast pace, time pressures and emotional impacts that can put physicians and other health professionals at risk of suffering from burnout.

Medical burnout refers to a stress reaction to their work that is evidenced by emotional exhaustion, feelings of depersonalization, a perceived lack of personal achievement and the risk of delivering substandard care to patients. The rising prevalence of burnout among clinicians (estimated to be over 50% in some studies) has led to questions about its impact on patient care, safety and the quality of treatment they are receiving. Doctors suffering from burnout are more likely to leave practice early in their careers which can have impacts on patients’ access to, and continuity, of care as well as impacting on them through poor decisions made by doctors when suffering from impaired memory, attention and decision making functions.