Things are tough out there. People are out of work. Politicians are willfully disregarding science. A League of Their Own stars are having heart attacks right and left. And now this: doctors are burning out at "alarming" rates.

Almost half of all doctors suffer from some form of burnout, according to a new survey from the Mayo Clinic. These symptoms include, "emotional exhaustion, depersonalization (treating patients as objects rather than human beings) and low sense of personal accomplishment."

Of the over 7,200 doctors who responded to the survey, roughly 3,330, or 45.8%, reported at least one of those symptoms.

"The rates are higher than expected," says lead author and physician Tait Shanafelt. "We expected maybe 1 out of 3."

But at least Dr. Shanafelt didn't give us some easily manipulated quote about Obamacare.

"Before health care reform takes hold, it's a concern that those docs are already operating at the margins."

Oh. Well, regardless, if you see your doctor throwing away his diplomas and mumbling about what a waste it was, all while treating other patients like they're some inanimate object, stop and give him a hug or something. It's the least you can do.

[Image via Shutterstock]