Burnout, Lack of Fulfillment Linked to Physician Intention to Leave

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Inverse associations with intention to leave seen for increases in supportive leadership behavior, peer support, perceived gratitude

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 20, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Burnout, lack of professional fulfillment, and other well-being-linked factors are associated with intention to leave (ITL) among physicians, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in JAMA Network Open.

Jennifer A. Ligibel, M.D., from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues describe the prevalence of burnout, professional fulfillment, and ITL among physicians at academic-affiliated health care systems. Data were included from 18,719 academic physicians who responded to a survey.

The researchers found that 37.9 percent of the respondents met the criteria for burnout, 39.3 percent met the criteria for professional fulfillment, and 32.6 percent reported moderate or greater ITL, with variation across specialties. Each 1-point increase in burnout was associated with ITL after adjustment for demographics (odds ratio, 1.52), while there was an inverse association for each 1-point increase in professional fulfillment with ITL (odds ratio, 0.64). Inverse associations with ITL were seen for each 1-point increase in supportive leadership behaviors, peer support, personal-organizational values alignment, perceived gratitude, COVID-19 organizational support, and electronic health record helpfulness after adjustment for demographics, burnout, and professional fulfillment. Direct associations with ITL were seen for each 1-point increase in depression and negative impact of work on personal relationships.

“These results underscore the importance of the connections between academic physicians and both institutional leadership and mission, as well as point to the need for developing initiatives with a comprehensive approach that considers burnout, professional fulfillment, and other organizational and individual-level well-being factors to help prevent physician turnover,” the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to Marvin Behavioral Health Inc.

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