Feelings of burnout among doctors has pervasive effect on happiness, work-life balance and patient care, according to our exclusive survey results.
What has contributed the most to your feelings of burnout?
Too much paperwork and government/payer regulations: 37%
Poor work-life balance/work too many hours: 19%
Lack of autonomy/career control: 9%
Insufficient pay/declining reimbursements: 7%
Overwhelmed by patient needs: 5%
Non-adherent patients: 1%
I don’t feel burned out: 5%
How do you cope with burnout?
Spending time with family and friends: 29%
Nothing, I don’t cope: 13%
Eating junk food: 6%
Practicing yoga/mindfulness/meditation: 5%
I don’t feel burned out: 7%
Cont. How do you cope with burnout?
“My dogs come to the office with me every day. I am in solo practice, and control my hours, who works with me, the color of my office carpet, etc. I work two full time jobs essentially, but control is the answer. Plus, my dogs keep it all in perspective, what’s important.”
“Volunteer activities and spending time with family and friends and hobbies.”
“Treat my work more like a job and less like a profession. Since I am treated like a cog in a wheel, I am starting to put less personal importance in work.”
“Trying to create pockets of time away from medicine responsibilities.”
“Online comradery with like-minded docs who are finding solutions.”
Do you plan to seek or have you sought professional help/counseling dealing with burnout?
Prefer not to answer: 7%
Have you avoided expressing feelings of burnout because you’re afraid of being judged negatively by peers?
How has burnout affected your career as a physician, if at all?
“Want to quit”
“Bad attitude at work”
“Feel tired and want to run away often”
“Probably will shorten career plans”
“Just doing my duty like robot”
What do you believe is the solution to physician burnout?
“Collective bargaining by and for physicians, utilizing agents as chief negotiators. We have our ethics and individuality used against us. An individual doctor rarely wields any power vs a hospital or insurer. However, the ability of a group or union could/would be a game changer. Use the NFL players union as an example.”
“More physician empowerment.”
“Physicians leading the future of medicine.”
“Work-life balance, being in a field that you enjoy, having great relationships with patients.”
“Less hours and less paperwork.”
What do you believe is the solution to physician burnout? (cont.)
“Empower physicians to have more control of how, when, and where they practice. Physicians feel powerless when they have no choices.”
“Give doctors autonomy over their practice environment.”
“More emphasis on patient care and outcomes that matter over check boxes and money.”
“The autonomy to practice without micromanagement by pharmacy benefit managers, dramatic simplification/elimination of the ridiculous documentation requirements for billing.”
About the survey
More than 1,200 physicians took our 2019 Physician Burnout Survey, which was deployed to our email newsletter subscribers in June via Survey Monkey. Here is a snapshot of who took the survey, including their medical specialty, practice setting and more.
What is your medical specialty?
Family practice: 36%
Internal medicine: 33%
Emergency medicine: 2%
How many years have you been practicing?
Less than 5: 1%
More than 30: 34%
Do you own your own practice?
Which of these best describes your practice setting?
Office-based independent practice: 48%
Office-based hospital-owned practice: 23%
Outpatient clinic: 12%
Academic (research, military, government): 6%
Direct/concierge practice: 1%