Burnout, Drop Out, Suicide: Physician Loss in Emergency Medicine, Part I

Christine R. Stehman, MD; Zachary Testo, MD; Rachel S. Gershaw, DO, MPH; Adam R. Kellogg, MD


Western J Emerg Med. 2019;20(3):485-494. 

In This Article



We chose "burnout" and its main components ("emotional exhaustion," "depersonalization," "cynicism," "job dissatisfaction") as the endpoint keywords. Because healthcare burnout researchers leave out the "lack of personal accomplishment" dimension, we did the same here.[8] "Depression" and "suicide," the ultimate consequences of burnout, were also included as endpoints. These keywords were paired with population keywords: "physicians," "residents," "medical students," and "emergency medicine" (EM) to find relevant articles in the medical literature.


We searched all combinations of pairings of each "endpoint" keyword with a "population" keyword from 1974 to the present in both Ovid Medline and PubMed. To ensure more esoteric sources were included we conducted searches for "endpoint" keywords on various EM/critical care blogs and lay press Web sites.[9]

Article Inclusion Criteria

We categorized all search results into primary research studies, commentary/opinion pieces, and review articles. Primary research studies, inclusive of their relevant references, provided the database of supporting information for the composition of the review. Additionally, we attempted to identify the primary literature for all Internet-based resources.