Employee burnout — the grinding, continuous stress, cynicism and exhaustion that one might experience in their job — is not limited to any one industry. However, when medical professionals in Indiana and nationwide experience burnout at work, it affects more than just them and their employer. It can also affect the safety of patients in their care.

One study out of Stanford University exemplifies just how significant burnout is in the medical industry, and how it can lead to acts of medical malpractice. The study surveyed around 7,000 doctors across the nation. A startling 55 percent of respondents reported experiencing burnout, and 10 percent of those reported that they committed at least one significant medical mistake over the past three months. In fact, the results revealed that burnout was a factor in the tripling of medical mistakes made.

It is essential that medical professionals are given the support needed to safely do their jobs. Being overtired and overworked for months on end can lead to mistakes that could cause patients to suffer needlessly. Whether the mistake is due to a misdiagnosis, a surgical error or the improper medication being administered, acts of medical malpractice can cause patients to suffer worsened conditions or even death.

Therefore, when a patient is harmed by a medical professional’s mistake, it is important that they understand what their rights are in such situations. While their main concern may simply be regaining their health, it won’t be long before the medical bills accumulate, wages are lost due to an inability to work, not to mention the pain and suffering and emotional trauma the patient endured. By exploring one’s legal options, it may be possible to seek compensation for the damages suffered, as well as hold the responsible parties accountable.