This blog post from the North Carolina Medical Board discusses issues around physician burnout. The blog states: "Burnout among physicians has reached epidemic proportions since it was first described among human services workers in the 1970s. When physicians experience overload, loss of control (autonomy) and a lack of reward (perceived or real) for their contributions, their risk for emotional exhaustion, otherwise known as the burnout syndrome, is astronomical. When physicians begin the downward spiral into burnout, they no longer contribute with their leadership and motivational energy. Instead, they become needy and unintentionally sap energy away from the group. Worse, this syndrome is highly contagious and can systematically infect a whole practice or clinic by reducing meaningful contact among its individual members."