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Half of Nation's Doctors Feel Burnt Out

Pixland/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- About half of U.S. physicians are displaying signs that they've about reached the end of their rope, a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds.  This is especially due to long days that can exceed 60 hours a week.

Tait Shanafelt, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic who led the study, says the problem will only get worse because of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act by 2014 that will mean 33 million more people with health insurance, thus straining doctors even more.

Shanafelt say feelings of being burnt out or exhaustion can result in medical errors by doctors, or at the very least, lack of compassion for the patients they treat.

Those most likely to show signs of strain are emergency room doctors, family physicians and internists, according to the study.

Much of the problem has to do with physicians having to see more patients to compensate for cuts from insurers and the government, while private practice doctors say they're under pressure to implement electronic medical records because of new federal rules.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio