Bias, Burnout, Race: What Physicians Told Us About the Issues

Carol Peckham

Disclosures

January 10, 2017

In This Article

Burnout Severity

Medscape also asked physicians to rate the severity of their burnout on a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 equals "It does not interfere with my life" and 7 equals "It is so severe that I am thinking of leaving medicine altogether." Among physicians reporting burnout, urologists had the highest average severity rating (4.6), followed by oncologists (4.5) and pathologists and cardiologists (both at 4.4).When compared with last year's findings, burnout severity remained fairly flat or declined for the majority of specialties (Figure 4).

Figure 4.

Burnout severity between 2016 and 2017.

The Consequences of Burnout

A 2016 meta-analysis[16] found that greater burnout among healthcare providers was associated with poorer healthcare and decreased patient safety. Other studies have also reported this association, but this paper was the first to systematically and quantitatively analyze the links between healthcare provider burnout and quality and safety across disciplines. Commenting on the study, Chris Ebberwein, PhD (University of Kansas School of Medicine), who specializes in healthcare provider burnout, said, "By confirming that burnout has a system impact, it might motivate decision makers in healthcare to redouble their efforts toward system solutions."[17]

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