Survey shows a correlation between ethnicity, gender and burnout in nation’s physicians

January 12, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Physician Wellness 

The 2017 Medscape Lifestyle Report has found a correlation between ethnicity, gender and burnout among the nation’s physicians.

The survey of more than 14,000 physicians from over 30 specialties found an association between ethnicity and burnout. Asian Indian physicians reported the lowest level of burnout at 46 percent, with Chinese physicians reporting the highest level at 56 percent. Fifty-two percent of Caucasian physicians and 51 percent of Hispanic/Latino physicians reported burnout, with black physicians slightly less burned out at 48 percent.

There was also a higher percentage of female physicians reporting burnout (55 percent) than their male peers (45 percent). Both of these percentages are up sharply from four years ago, when the 2013 Medscape Lifestyle Report found that 45 percent of women and 37 percent of men reported burnout.

Over half of all physicians (51 percent) reported being burned out, up from 40 percent in 2013, the first year that this question was asked.

At the top of the list for causes of burnout for both male and female physicians were spending time on bureaucratic tasks and spending too many hours at work.  Feeling like “a cog in a wheel” and electronic health records (EHRs) also rated high on the causes of burnout.  A 2016 report in the Journal of Family Medicine found compelling evidence that EHRs and related regulatory requirements are playing a role in dehumanizing the medical profession and contributing to burnout.  

Specialties that reported the highest burnout rate included emergency medicine (59 percent), followed by OB/GYNs (56 percent) and family physicians, internists, and infectious disease physicians (55 percent).

Click here to read the Medscape report.


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