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


While suicide is its ultimate tragic outcome, burnout is a complex condition resulting in many consequences. Since EPs are particularly vulnerable to burnout due to the system, culture and society in which they practice, we need to understand the complicated interaction between the signs, symptoms, causes, and consequences of burnout (Figure 1). This understanding can help create a path to recovery, both individually and as a specialty. As practitioners of a specialty who experience burnout at such high levels, EPs should take the lead in this recovery. Resources to aid in recovery will be found in Part II of this series, which discusses mitigating burnout and its consequences through wellness, "the anti-burnout."

Figure 1.

The causes and consequences of physician burnout.