Physician Burnout Rates Vary by Medical Specialty

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Nearly half of physicians report being burned out, but rates vary substantially by medical specialty.
Nearly half of physicians report being burned out, but rates vary substantially by medical specialty.

HealthDay News — Nearly half of physicians report being burned out, but rates vary substantially by medical specialty, according to an article published in AMA Wire.

Medscape recently published its "National Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2018," which was based on a survey of 15,000 physicians from 29 specialties regarding burnout and depression.

The survey found that, overall, 42 percent of respondents were burned out -- down from 51 percent the previous year -- and 15 percent admitted to experiencing either clinical or colloquial forms of depression. 

Burnout occurred most often in critical care and neurology (both 48 percent), followed by family medicine (47 percent), obstetrics and gynecology (46 percent), internal medicine (46 percent), and emergency medicine (45 percent). Burnout was lowest in plastic surgery (23 percent), dermatology and pathology (both 32 percent), ophthalmology (33 percent), and orthopedics (34 percent).

More than half of physicians reported "too many bureaucratic tasks" as the leading cause of burnout. Just under one-third (31 percent) report that a more manageable work schedule or call hours would reduce burnout. Physicians cope with burnout through exercising (50 percent), talking with family or close friends (46 percent), and sleeping (42 percent).

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