What Do Doctors Worry About?

Female doctor showing signs of worry and concern
Doctors are People Too!

The role of physicians is not without its challenges, and doctors often face many worries and concerns that can impact their work and personal lives. At times, people’s lives are in the hands of doctors and surgeons who are aware that one mistake could be a fatal one. But that’s not all that concerns medical professionals today.  In this essay, we will explore some of the most common worries that doctors face today.

Covid-19 Caused Anxiety Throughout the World

Girl tested for Covid 19
People line up to be tested for Covid at a clinic. Photo iStock

Although Covid is considered a past issue these days, there is no doubt the pandemic has caused worldwide anxiety, both for patients and physicians.

This infectious disease put an enormous strain on all healthcare systems, and doctors were at the forefront of dealing with this menace. They were tasked with diagnosing and treating patients, and providing care to the critically ill while trying to prevent the spread of the virus.

It was a mental and physical shock to many. One doctor from Elmhurst Hospital, the hospital that was inundated the most by the pandemic, said he used to see gurneys spread out into the streets because the facility just couldn’t house them all. Worse, he would witness scores of deaths daily, so even though physicians are more mentally equipped to manage patient deaths, there is no doubt that many physicians were emotionally and mentally affected when seeing so many people die in front of them daily.

In the United States and the world, the general concerns were that the physicians did not catch the disease and that personal protective equipment (PPE) and other resources were available for their patients, especially in the early period when Covid became a major concern.

As of this writing, the pandemic has subsided substantially, although not completely as there are still reports of people catching the disease, and there are those who suffer from long-covid, but for the most part, we can put this beyond us now; however, that doesn’t mean physicians do not have other things to worry about.

Physician Burnout

Doctor showing signs of stress
Physician burnout is real and many doctors are affected by it. Photo: iStock

Healthcare professionals often work long hours and deal with emotionally draining situations, such as caring for terminally ill patients or those with chronic illnesses. Burnout is a real concern and can lead to physical and mental exhaustion, decreased empathy for patients, and a decline in the quality of care provided.

The report also found that burnout is having a significant impact on physicians’ health and well-being. Nearly half (49%) of burned-out physicians said their issue has had a moderate or severe impact on their physical health, and 43% said it has had a moderate or severe impact on their mental health.

This condition is also leading to increased rates of physician turnover. Nearly one in three (32%) physicians said they are considering leaving their current job within the next year.

Medical Errors

Hands wiht pencils on top of paper on a deskMedical errors are another concern for doctors. Despite their best efforts, physicians can make mistakes that can have serious consequences for their patients. Medication errors, misdiagnoses, and surgical mistakes are just a few examples of errors that can occur. Doctors may worry about what impact this may have on their patient’s health and their professional reputation.

Although some cases are not the result of physician error and others may be frivolous, patient attorneys may proceed with a malpractice lawsuit anyway. In fact, there are, on average over 85,000 medical malpractice cases field in the United States each year.

Physicians who are legally notified for medical malpractice or who have been reported to OPMC (Office of Medical Conduct) should confer with an attorney for advice and possible legal defense if needed.


In conclusion, doctors face many worries and challenges in their work. Burnout, medical errors, as well as access to care, and healthcare policy changes are some of the major concerns.

These worries can impact their professional and personal lives and make it more difficult to provide the best possible care for their patients. We must recognize and address these concerns to support our healthcare providers and ensure that they can continue to provide high-quality care to those in need. By providing adequate resources, support, and policy changes, we can help alleviate some of the worries that doctors face and create a healthier and more equitable healthcare system for all.