Review Paper Explores New Data on Burnout in Cardiology

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By identifying modifiable drivers of burnout, data may inform efforts to understand the causes and design solutions at an individual and organizational level, according to a review paper published June 24 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Laxmi S. Mehta, MD, FACC, et al., analyzed ACC's third professional life survey – which includes questions specific to burnout and job satisfaction – to address this gap and better characterize burnout among cardiologists. The survey was completed by 2,274 physicians, and respondents were categorized into two groups based on self-reporting: no burnout group and burnout group.

Results showed that the majority of survey respondents (73.2 percent) did not report having burnout symptoms. Of this group, 23.7 percent reported enjoying their work and 49.5 percent reported being under stress with less energy.

On the other hand, 26.8 percent of respondents reported being burned out. Of this group, 19.2 percent experienced at least one symptom of burnout, 6.4 percent reported chronic burnout symptoms that led to frequently thinking of work frustrations, and 1.2 percent reported feeling completely burned out to the point of possibly needing outside intervention.

Overall, results showed that all cardiologists were satisfied with their career, but burnout respondents were significantly more likely to report feeling less satisfied with achieving professional goals, financial compensation and level of advancement. Burnout respondents were also less likely to recommend cardiology as a career compared with no burnout respondents.

The authors believe that this study is the first to report burnout data specific to cardiologists, as well as the first to explore aspects of their professional lives associated with burnout or its absence. They add that these data may inform efforts to enhance cardiologists' well-being, which in turn is thought to improve patient care and reduce cost.

"This study highlights the importance of wellness, not just personal resiliency but also the need for reforms in the systemic issues that negatively impact the wellness and work-life integration," Mehta says. "Clinician wellness is a strategic priority for the College and currently we are working on addressing wellness at all levels within the College."

Keywords: Job Satisfaction, Burnout, Professional, Patient Care

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