Physician Burnout On the Rise

By Kurtis Pivert

Results of the latest Medscape Lifestyle Report 2017: Race and Ethnicity, Bias and Burnout portray a physician workforce that are increasingly burnt out. The sobering data come from a survey of more than 14,000 physicians practicing over 30 specialties. Now in its 6th year, breakdown of respondents by physician specialty was not provided.

Nephrologist Burnout

Nephrologists were in the middle of the pack of the 30 specialties surveyed, with 50% of respondents indicating they were burned out, which according to Medscape is “defined … as a loss of enthusiasm for work, feelings of cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment.”

This was similar to results from the 2016 report (49%). Burnout severity reported by nephrologists was lower this year (4.2 on a 7-point Likert scale compared to 4.39 in 2016), improving in ranking from 5th-highest burnt-out specialty to the 12th.

A higher proportion of women physicians (55%) were burnt out than men (45%). Echoing results from the 2016 Physicians Foundation Survey, increasing bureaucratic tasks was the prime driving factor behind burnout, followed by work hours.

Source: Medscape Lifestyle Report 2017: Race and Ethnicity, Bias and Burnout

Job Satisfaction

Overall, only 24% of nephrologist repondents were happiest at work. The majority (62%) were happiest outside the workplace. This placed nephrology second last among the 30 specialties, behind internal medicine with rheumatology in last place.

However, when stratified by burnout status, nephrologists were last with 45% of respondents who weren’t burnout responding they were happy at work (and 2% of burnt out nephrologists replying they were happy at work).

Although the results must be interpreted within the context of standard survey limitations, they emphasize a growing concern about physician burnout and work-life balance issues that are already being discussed within the kidney community.

If you have any suggestions for future workforce research or data gaps that should be addressed, please email workforce@asn-online.org.

Other articles of interest:

Nephrology Workforce Report 2016: Key Takeaways

Report shows increase in compensation for nephrologists

 

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Kurtis Pivert
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Results of the latest Medscape Lifestyle Report 2017: Race and Ethnicity, Bias and Burnout portray a physician workforce that are increasingly burnt out. The sobering data come from a survey of more than 14,000 physicians practicing over 30 specialties. Now in its 6th year, breakdown of respondents by physician specialty was not provided.

Nephrologist Burnout

Nephrologists were in the middle of the pack of the 30 specialties surveyed, with 50% of respondents indicating they were burned out, which according to Medscape is “defined … as a loss of enthusiasm for work, feelings of cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment.”

This was similar to results from the 2016 report (49%). Burnout severity reported by nephrologists was lower this year (4.2 on a 7-point Likert scale compared to 4.39 in 2016), improving in ranking from 5th-highest burnt-out specialty to the 12th.

A higher proportion of women physicians (55%) were burnt out than men (45%). Echoing results from the 2016 Physicians Foundation Survey, increasing bureaucratic tasks was the prime driving factor behind burnout, followed by work hours.

Source: Medscape Lifestyle Report 2017: Race and Ethnicity, Bias and Burnout

Job Satisfaction

Overall, only 24% of nephrologist repondents were happiest at work. The majority (62%) were happiest outside the workplace. This placed nephrology second last among the 30 specialties, behind internal medicine with rheumatology in last place.

However, when stratified by burnout status, nephrologists were last with 45% of respondents who weren’t burnout responding they were happy at work (and 2% of burnt out nephrologists replying they were happy at work).

Although the results must be interpreted within the context of standard survey limitations, they emphasize a growing concern about physician burnout and work-life balance issues that are already being discussed within the kidney community.

If you have any suggestions for future workforce research or data gaps that should be addressed, please email workforce@asn-online.org.

Other articles of interest:

Nephrology Workforce Report 2016: Key Takeaways

Report shows increase in compensation for nephrologists