Nav: Home

Professional burnout associated with physicians limiting practice

April 01, 2016

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- At a time when the nation is facing projected physician shortages, a Mayo Clinic study shows an association between burnout and declining professional satisfaction with physicians reducing the number of hours they devote to clinical practice. The findings appear in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

"A dramatic increase in burnout has occurred among U.S. physicians over the last several years," says Tait Shanafelt, M.D., Mayo Clinic physician and lead author of the study. "Using independent payroll records, this study objectively found that the measured level of burnout today predicts whether physicians will cut their work hours over the next 12-24 months."

Researchers from Mayo Clinic and Sirota Survey Intelligence linked data from validated surveys assessing burnout and work satisfaction from physicians at Mayo Clinic to seven years of administrative and payroll records for doctors at the institution. Although none of the Mayo Clinic investigators had access to any identifying information, the Sirota team was able to pair the payroll data Mayo provided to survey responses. The investigators found that for every point increase in the seven-point scale measuring emotional exhaustion (a domain of burnout), there was a 40 percent greater likelihood a physician would cut back his or her work hours over the next 24 months. A similar relationship was observed for every one-point decrease in the five-point scale measuring professional satisfaction.

The longitudinal study used survey data from 1,856 physicians responding in 2011 and 2,132 physicians responding in 2013. The study included physicians on payroll at the Mayo Clinic campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Results were adjusted for geographic site, age, sex and specialty.

"There is a societal imperative to provide physicians a better option than choosing between reducing clinical work or burning out," Dr. Shanafelt says. "Physicians reducing their professional effort due to burnout could exacerbate the already substantial U.S. physician workforce shortage as well as impact continuity of care for patients."

He says the link between burnout and cutting clinical work is particularly concerning for several primary care disciplines, such as family medicine and general internal medicine. These specialties already have the largest projected physician shortages and have some of the highest rates of burnout.

The researchers say more studies must be done to determine if the workforce reduction due to burnout is causal and to see if changes in the practice environment can reverse this trend.
-end-
In addition to Dr. Shanafelt, Mayo Clinic co-authors include:
  • Michelle Mungo
  • Jaime Schmitgen
  • Sharonne Hayes, M.D.
  • Jeff Sloan, Ph.D.
  • Stephen Swensen, M.D.
  • Steven Buskirk, M.D.
From Sirota:
  • Kristen Storz
  • David Reeves, Ph.D.
The study was funded by Mayo Clinic.

About Mayo Clinic Proceedings

Mayo Clinic Proceedings is a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal that publishes original articles and reviews dealing with clinical and laboratory medicine, clinical research, basic science research and clinical epidemiology. Proceedings is sponsored by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research as part of its commitment to physician education. It publishes submissions from authors worldwide. The journal has been published for more than 80 years and has a circulation of 130,000. Articles are available online at http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic and http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

Mayo Clinic

Related Mayo Clinic Articles:

Mayo Clinic researchers demonstrate value of second opinions
Many patients come to Mayo Clinic for a second opinion or diagnosis confirmation before treatment for a complex condition.
Mayo Clinic researchers clarify chemo resistance, and perhaps a new therapy
Mayo Clinic scientists have identified a specific protein implicated in drug resistance, as well as a possible therapeutic tool.
Mayo Clinic researchers identify therapy
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that an experimental drug, LCL161, stimulates the immune system, leading to tumor shrinkage in patients affected by multiple myeloma.
Mayo Clinic researchers uncover new agents
Mayo Clinic researchers have uncovered three new agents to add to the emerging repertoire of drugs that aim to delay the onset of aging by targeting senescent cells -- cells that contribute to frailty and other age-related conditions.
Mayo Clinic: Reversing physician burnout, using nine strategies to promote well-being
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have been documenting the rise and costs of physician burnout for more than a decade.
Mayo Clinic and Massachusetts Institute of Technology receive grant
Mayo Clinic and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been awarded a five-year, $9.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to support a Physical Sciences-Oncology Center (PS-OC).
Mayo Clinic and ASU to form collaborative research teams
Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University's research leadership announce the launch of a new grant program that will team up research scientists and clinicians from both institutions to develop transformative solutions for patients.
Mayo Clinic studying genomics of antiplatelet heart medication
TAILOR-PCI, which began in 2013 with study teams at 15 hospitals in the US, Canada and South Korea and plans to enroll 5,270 patients, just received an additional $7 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, to complete the study.
Mayo Clinic introduces precision medicine in psychiatry
Mayo Clinic is highlighting the potential merits of using precision medicine in prescribing antidepressants.
Mayo clinic first to implant device to solve fecal incontinence
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A clinical team on Mayo Clinic's Florida campus is the first to offer four patients with long-term fecal incontinence a new and potentially long-lasting treatment -- a small band of interlinked magnetic titanium beads on a titanium string that successfully mimics the function of the anal sphincter.

Related Mayo Clinic Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Don't Fear Math
Why do many of us hate, even fear math? Why are we convinced we're bad at it? This hour, TED speakers explore the myths we tell ourselves and how changing our approach can unlock the beauty of math. Guests include budgeting specialist Phylecia Jones, mathematician and educator Dan Finkel, math teacher Eddie Woo, educator Masha Gershman, and radio personality and eternal math nerd Adam Spencer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#518 With Genetic Knowledge Comes the Need for Counselling
This week we delve into genetic testing - for yourself and your future children. We speak with Jane Tiller, lawyer and genetic counsellor, about genetic tests that are available to the public, and what to do with the results of these tests. And we talk with Noam Shomron, associate professor at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, about technological advancements his lab has made in the genetic testing of fetuses.