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12% of docs eye leaving medicine and 7 other COVID-19 linked trends

September 12, 2020

About 54 percent of U.S. physicians said they have treated COVID-19 patients in person, and another 26 percent report treating coronavirus patients over the phone or via video, according to a new Medscape report.

The survey polled 7,414 physicians from eight countries, including 5,005 physicians from the U.S. The survey was conducted between June 9 and July 20.

Eight findings from U.S. physicians’ survey responses:

1. Emergency medicine physicians (94 percent) and nephrologists (89 percent) are the top two specialists treating COVID-19 patients in person.

2. Twenty-three percent of physicians report lacking appropriate personal protective equipment when treating COVID-19 patients.

3. Around 5 percent of physicians said they have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

4. Sixty-two percent of physicians said their income decreased since the beginning of the pandemic, with 33 percent reporting their income decreased by 11 percent to 25 percent.

5. Approximately 64 percent of physicians report higher burnout since the pandemic started.

6. Forty-six percent said they are lonelier due to stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines.

7. About 25 percent of physicians are planning to retire earlier than planned as a result of their experiences treating COVID-19, and 12 percent are considering leaving medicine.

8. Forty-three percent of physicians said their workplace offers activities to help clinicians with stress and grief.

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