Burnout More Common among Physicians than Other Professionals, Study Finds
Burnout and dissatisfaction with work-life balance are more common among physicians than among other U.S. professionals, concludes a study published online August 20, 2012, in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study, which surveyed 7,288 physicians from all specialties and disciplines, found that 46% of the participants reported at least one symptom of burnout. Substantial differences in the severity of burnout were observed by specialty, with the highest rates among physicians practicing family medicine, general internal medicine, and emergency medicine. When compared with a sample of 3,442 working U.S. adults from other occupations, physicians were more likely to have symptoms of burnout (38% vs. 28%) and to be dissatisfied with work-life balance (40% vs. 23%). In a separate analysis, the participants’ highest level of education completed was also found to be related to burnout. Compared with high school graduates, individuals with an MD or DO degree were at increased risk for burnout, whereas individuals with a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or professional or doctoral degree other than an MD or DO degree were at lower risk for burnout. The researchers note that physicians in frontline specialties are at the greatest risk of experiencing burnout and that burnout may adversely affect quality of care and negatively affect physician health. They conclude that additional research is needed to identify personal, organizational, and societal interventions to address this problem.
Source: ECRI Institute