Physician burnout and engagement by specialty

How often have you heard a physician state “I just don’t have the energy to do my job any more.”

According to a national survey in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2012), physicians in the U.S. suffer more burnout than other American workers.

Burnout is typically defined as 1) loss of enthusiasm for work, 2) feelings of cynicism, and 3) a low sense of personal accomplishment.  Survey items include “I have become more callous toward people since I took this job” and “I feel burned out from my work.”

The 2014 Medscape Physician Lifestyle Survey reported an overall 7% increase of burnout reported, in just one year, from 39% in 2013 to 46% of all physicians in 2014.  That statistically improbable increase may be a result of increased attribution from variables such as reduced contact with patients, increased technological requirements for EMR and coding, decreased morale, decreased financial compensation.

So where do you stand?  Burnout rates vary by specialty.

(Source: Peckham, C.  Physician burnout: it just keeps getting worse.  Medscape.  Jan. 26, 2015.  Sorry in advance for this low-quality image, and the busiest slide in the deck… )


Every physician wants to know how they compare.

For those of you doing critical care and emergency medicine, you represent the highest level of burnout.

One factor is low autonomy or control over your schedule… perhaps because you are the “front line of care.”

For those of you in dermatology or psychiatry, with the opportunity to schedule office visits and regular patient schedules, please do not think that you are exempt from burnout.

These are averages and self-reported scales, so they are descriptive data.  Only.

You are each unique.

To assess your degree of burnout or engagement contact us here.  Or call 704.995.667.  Or schedule your initial consultation here.

Yes, we can help you increase your engagement level.