Physician burnout continues to spread, survey finds

With both the percentage of burned out physicians and the severity of burnout growing from last year, burnout among physicians has reached critical levels, according to the 2016 Medscape Lifestyle Report.

The survey, which polls more than 15,800 physicians across more than 25 specialties, identified bureaucratic tasks, long work hours and increasing computerization as the top reasons fueling the burnout flame.

Burnout leaves physicians feeling unenthusiastic, cynical and with a low sense of accomplishment. This can mean physicians are less engaged at work or even more likely to report exhibiting bias toward patients, according the survey. Burned out physicians reported bias at a rate of 55 percent, compared to 45 percent of physicians who are not burned out.

Unfortunately, the survey indicates these feelings are present across all specialties and demographics, though it affects some more than others. Women physicians, for example, reported burnout rates of 55 percent, compared to 46 percent of their male peers.

Here is the breakdown by specialty of the prevalence of physician burnout, ranked from highest to lowest, as presented by Medscape.

  • Critical care — 55 percent
  • Urology — 55 percent
  • Emergency medicine — 55 percent
  • Family medicine — 54 percent
  • Internal medicine — 54 percent
  • Pediatrics — 53 percent
  • Surgery — 51 percent
  • Ob/GYN —51 percent
  • Neurology — 51 percent
  • Radiology — 50 percent
  • Cardiology — 50 percent
  • Anesthesiology — 50 percent
  • Gastroenterology — 49 percent
  • Rheumatology — 47 percent
  • Infectious disease — 47 percent
  • Nephrology — 47 percent
  • Orthopedics — 47 percent
  • Oncology — 46 percent
  • Pathology — 45 percent
  • Plastic surgery — 45 percent
  • Pulmonary medicine — 43 percent
  • Dermatology — 43 percent
  • Diabetes and endocrinology — 41 percent
  • Ophthalmology — 41 percent
  • Psychiatry and mental health — 40 percent

 

More articles on integration and physician issues:

20 physician resolutions for 2016
Percentage of female medical school professors up 7 percent over last decade
Major technology overhauls still on the horizon: 5 takeaways from a physician practice profitability survey

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