Majority of physicians are burned out or depressed: 7 things to know

In a survey of more than 15,000 U.S. physicians, 42 percent reported burnout and 15 percent reported forms of depression, with the highest rates found among female and mid-career physicians, according to Medscape's first National Report on Physician Burnout and Depression.

Medscape asked the physicians across 29 specialties questions about their experiences with burnout and depression. The report notes that some totals do not equal 100 percent due to rounding.

Here are seven things to know about the report.

1. Forty-two percent of physician respondents reported burnout. Fifteen percent of all physicians reported they experienced either clinical depression or "feeling down" at 3 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Fourteen percent of respondents reported experiencing both burnout and depression.

2. Intensivists and neurologists reported the highest rates of burnout at 48 percent, followed by family physicians at 47 percent, OB-GYNs and internists at 46 percent and emergency medicine physicians and radiologists at 45 percent.

3. Specialists who are less likely to work under emergency conditions reported lower rates of burnout. Plastic surgeons reported the lowest rates of burnout at 23 percent, followed by dermatologists and pathologists at 32 percent and ophthalmologists at 33 percent.

4. Fourteen percent of all physicians reported they are both burned out and depressed. OB-GYNs reported the highest rates of feeling both burned out and depressed at 20 percent, followed by public health physicians at 18 percent and urologists and neurologists at 17 percent.

5. More female physicians reported burnout — 48 percent — than their male counterparts — 38 percent.

6. Physician burnout increased significantly with age, with 35 percent of the youngest group reporting burnout compared to 50 percent of physicians between ages 45 and 54. However, the burnout rate declined to 41 percent for physicians between ages 55 and 69.

7. Employed versus self-employed physicians reported equal burnout rates at 42 percent.

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