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UCSF study analyzes stress levels of physicians during coronavirus pandemic


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – A new study shows front line physicians across the country are feeling stressed and anxious both at work and at home.

The study, conducted by UCSF, is the first known study to assess stress levels of physicians in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic.

Emergency medicine physicians in seven cities across the country say they’re experiencing rising levels of anxiety and emotional exhaustion.

None of this is necessarily surprising, as doctors continue to work tirelessly through the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s been interesting I think because as emergency physicians we are used to dealing with a lot of uncertainty and stress all the time but this is a new kind of different level,” Dr. Maria Raven said. 

According to a new analysis led by UCSF, front line physicians are feeling moderate to severe levels of stress and anxiety both at work and at home worrying about exposing relatives and friends to the virus, worrying about the lack of rapid diagnostic testing and lack of personal protective equipment. 

For Dr. Maria Raven, the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UCSF, her biggest concern is when or if the UCSF emergency room will see a major surge in coronavirus patients.

“Everyone really needs to be vigilant, people need to wear masks or face coverings, they need to socially distance, they need to wash their hands and they really really need to just consider the fact they are not just protecting themselves, they are protecting their loved ones,” Raven said. 

426 emergency physicians were surveyed for the study, which was led by Dr. Robert Rodriguez, a UCSF professor of emergency medicine, who is currently on his way to texas to help in the hospitals experiencing a significant rise in cases there.

“It’s pretty unprecedented I would say in terms of anything I have dealt with or anything my colleagues have dealt with,” Raven said.

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