Burnout Increasing Among Physicians in the United States

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Burnout highest in women, primary care physicians, and physicians with ≤10 years of experience

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 6, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The physician burnout rate in the United States is increasing, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in JAMA Network Open.

Marcus V. Ortega, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined the prevalence of burnout among physicians in a large multispecialty group over a five-year period. Analysis included 1,373 physician faculty members of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization surveyed in 2017, 2019, and 2021. Different clinical specialties and a full range of career stages were represented in the group of physicians.

The researchers found that 50.3 percent of the respondents were men, 67.1 percent were White, and 34.8 percent reported between 11 and 20 years of experience. Burnout in the group reporting between 11 and 20 years of experience declined from 44.4 percent in 2017 to 41.9 percent in 2019, but increased to 50.4 percent in 2021. Significantly higher burnout rates were seen among female physicians versus their male counterparts, primary care physicians versus physicians in other specialties, and physicians with ≤10 years of experience versus those with more experience.

“The findings of this survey study suggest that the physician burnout rate in the U.S. is increasing,” the authors write. “This pattern represents a potential threat to the ability of the U.S. health care system to care for patients and needs urgent solutions.”

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