People entrust doctors and surgeons with their medical well-being. Surgeons in particular may literally hold patients’ lives in the palm of their hands in New Mexico. The process of becoming a doctor takes years of schooling followed by a medical residency, where one is supervised by more experienced professionals. In spite of all of this training, medical malpractice remains a problem.

According to recent studies, medical errors are not uncommon in the United States health care system, and these errors have been shown to contribute to inpatient deaths. But what causes the physicians to commit the errors? While no one is perfect, a high level of proficiency is expected from doctors and surgeons.

According to a study of 6,700 practicing physicians that was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, burnout is a significant contributing factor to physician errors. According to the study, burnout is believed to be brought on not only by fatigue but also by the preponderance of their time that is spent on clerical work and documentation that detracts from quality time they are able to spend with patients. Physicians experiencing burnout were associated with medical errors at 2.2 times the odds across the sample in the study.

Regardless of the cause, medical malpractice remains a problem in New Mexico and elsewhere in the country. A person who believes he or she, or a loved one, has suffered a medical setback due to a medical professional’s error could benefit from consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney. No one can undo the harm that may have been done, but a successfully litigated claim can provide compensation for medical expenses and other verifiable losses.