The state of hospital executive burnout

Among healthcare C-suite executives, burnout appears to be on the rise, according to a survey from executive search firm WittKieffer.

The survey, conducted in summer 2022, was sent to thousands of healthcare C-suite executives of a range of titles at hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, medical groups and other provider organizations. More than 230 healthcare executives, including 63 CEOs, completed the survey. To preface the survey, WittKieffer provided respondents with Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic's burnout definition, specifically job burnout: "clinically defined as a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work."

Five findings, according to a report shared with Becker's:

1. Seventy-four percent of respondents said they felt burned out in the last six months. This compares to 60 percent who said the same in 2018.

2. Nearly all respondents (93 percent) said burnout is negatively affecting their organizations. This compares to 79 percent who said the same in 2018.

3. Thirty-three percent of respondents said they "often" or "always" think about leaving their current position due to burnout.

4. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said they "often" or "always" think about leaving healthcare due to burnout.

5. Fifty-eight percent of all respondents — and 47 percent of burned-out respondents — expressed hope about the future of healthcare leadership. 

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