As usual it has a number of interesting findings and a number of things you will notice don't change from year to year ... like burnout rates from 40 - 50% unfortunately.
Let me give you the highlights and my comments in this blog post.
The full survey is behind a login at Medscape at this URL
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- Surveys filled out between August - November, 2020.
So note the title of the Study Report is misleading. This is a 2020 survey report.
- Total of 12,339 practicing US physicians
- 10 minute online survey
From the looks of the results it appears to have been selections from response options provided by the survey rather than typing in your answers.
Survey Highlights and Commentary:
PHYSICIAN BURNOUT PREVALENCE
42% of physicians reported burnout in this 2020 Survey.
SPECIALTY SPECIFIC BURNOUT PREVALENCE
There was a change in the lineup of specialties with the highest burnout prevalence. This is likely due to the COVID-19 effect.
2019 the highest burnout specialties were:
and Family Practice
In 2020 the top of the table were:
Rheumatology Infectious Disease
36% of male doctors reported burnout
51% of female doctors reported burnout
Did your burnout start before or after COVID-19?
I am pretty sure that for everyone whose burnout started prior to COVID-19, the pandemic made it worse. This is likely true whether COVID-19 overwhelmed you with patients or furloughed you and your staff at the peaks of the waves.
SPECIFIC BURNOUT CAUSES:
What contributes most to your burnout?
58% Too many bureaucratic tasks
37% Spending too many hours at work
37% Lack of respect from administrators, colleagues or staff
SEVERITY OF BUROUT IMPACT:
How severe is your burnout?
24% Has a moderate impact on my life
47% Has a strong/severe impact on my life
So 71% of physicians who admit to burnout also admit that their burnout has had a moderate to severe impact on their life. That is a total of 30% of your physician workforce! This should be keeping CEO's and CMO's up at night across the USA.
BIGGEST WORKPLACE CONCERN:
Which workplace issue concerns you most?
#1 for both men and women was:
42% of women
48% of men
Ranked this first. The next highest concern garnered only 23%.
When you decided to go to medical school, you made an extraordinary choice in pursuit of an extraordinary career. I am pretty sure you did not choose a career guaranteed to dominate your entire life.
EFFORTS TO ALLIEVIATE BURNOUT:
What have you done at work to try to alleviate burnout?
28% of the doctors said, "Reduced my work hours."
This is another finding that should be keeping CEO's, CMO's and all patients up at night across the USA. We already know there is a 120,000 physician shortage projected for 2030. If 12% (28% of the 42% who admit to burnout) of physicians also feel they have no choice but to cut back hours ... the shortage just expanded by 14,400 docs.
PHYSICIAN SUICIDE SURVEY:
Have you ever felt suicidal or attempted suicide?
13% Yes; I have had thoughts of suicide but have not attempted suicide
1% Yes, I have attempted suicide
5% Prefer not to answer
This is the highest number of admissions to suicidal ideation I have ever seen in a survey by a factor of two. For years a solid and predictable 6 - 7% of doctors will answer "Yes" to the question: "Have you thought about suicide in the last 12 months?" Now this.
Does your workplace offer a program to reduce stress and/or burnout?
18% Don't know
How likely are you to participate in this program?
42% Very unlikely
28% Neither likely nor unlikely
30% Very likely
OK, hang on here. 63% of physicians work in an organization where there is either no wellness program or if they do have one ... it appears to be invisible to the doctors.
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT
- How are your energy levels?
- How satisfied are you with your work-life balance? (0-10)
- Does your organization have a wellness program?
- Have you cut back your hours? Do you know colleagues who have done so?