Poll: Are You Burned Out?

August 23, 2012

Nearly half of U.S. radiologists reported at least one symptom of burnout, a new study found. Do you feel burned out?

Feeling burned out? You’re not alone. In fact, nearly half of U.S. radiologists reported at least one symptom of burnout, a new study found. Still a majority of radiologists said they were happy with their work-life balance.

Among all physician specialties, 45.8 percent reported burnout, according to the study published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers assessed 7,288 physicians with the Maslach Burnout Inventory in December 2012. Those on the front line of care, including family and emergency medicine, suffer the most, the authors noted. Compare that with working U.S. adults in general, 28 percent of whom report symptoms of burnout.

For the most part, burned out specialists out also reported dissatisfaction with their work-life balance. But that correlation isn’t always the case, researchers noted. Radiologists, for example, reported slightly higher-than-average burnout rates, but nearly 60 percent reported they were satisfied that work leaves enough time for personal or family life.

Physicians were at a higher risk for emotional exhaustion than the average U.S. working adult (32.1 percent vs. 23.5 percent), depersonalization (19.4 percent vs. 15 percent), and overall burnout (37.9 percent vs. 27.8 percent).

The results indicate burnout among U.S. physicians is at an “alarming level,” researchers noted, indicating “a highly prevalent and systemic problem threatening the foundation of the U.S. medical care system.”

It’s not a problem for a few susceptible doctors, the researchers said, but instead an indication of the entire care delivery system. However, it’s not clear how to fix the problem, they said adding that most interventions focuses on individual techniques, rather than organizational fixes.
 

Are you feeling burned out? Vote here, and tell us about it in the comments section below.