August 22, 2012 — Physicians in the United States suffer from more burnout than other workers in the United States, new research shows.
A national survey of more than 7000 US physicians reveals that close to one half report having at least 1 symptom of burnout.
“The fact that almost 1 in 2 US physicians has symptoms of burnout implies that the origins of this problem are rooted in the environment and care delivery system rather than in the personal characteristics of a few susceptible individuals.
“Policy makers and health care organizations must address the problem of physician burnout for the sake of physicians and their patients,” the authors, led by Tait D. Shanafelt, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, write.
The survey findings were published online August 20 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
First National Study
Extensive data on physician burnout have been published, but to the investigators’ knowledge, no national study has yet evaluated rates of burnout among US physicians or explored differences in burnout by specialty.
Burnout among US physicians has also not been previously compared with burnout among US workers in other fields. Dr. Shanafelt and colleagues therefore conducted a national study of burnout among physicians from all specialties using the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile. (more…)