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Physician income drops, burnout spikes globally in pandemic


Numbers personally infected

One fifth of physicians in Spain and the United Kingdom had personally been infected with the virus. Brazil, France, and Mexico had the next highest numbers, with 13%-15% of physicians infected; 5%-6% in the United States, Germany, and Portugal said they had been infected.

The percentage of physicians who reported that immediate family members had been infected ranged from 25% in Spain to 6% in Portugal. Among US physicians, 9% reported that family members had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

In the United States, 44% of respondents who had family living with them at home during the pandemic reported that relationships at home were more stressed because of stay-at-home guidelines and social distancing. Almost half (47%) said there had been no change, and 9% said relationships were less stressed.

Eating is coping mechanism of choice

Physicians were asked what they were doing more of during the pandemic, and food seemed to be the top source of comfort in all eight countries.

Loneliness reports differ across globe

Portugal had the highest percentage (51%) of physicians reporting increased loneliness. Next were Brazil (48%), the United States (46%), the United Kingdom (42%), France (41%), Spain and Mexico (40% each), and Germany (32%).

All eight countries lacked workplace activities to help physicians with grief. More than half (55%) of U.K. physicians reported having such activities available at their workplace, whereas only 25% of physicians in Germany did; 12%-24% of respondents across the countries were unsure about the offerings.

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