ACC Survey Explores Learner Burnout in Cardiology Fellowship Programs

Burnout in fellows is about 10%, and this learner burnout in cardiology fellowship programs may lead to consequences for patient care and the professional development of learners, according to results of an ACC survey of cardiovascular program directors published June 20 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The ACC survey was conducted from May 19, 2020 to July 6, 2020. Of the 247 eligible programs, 141 program directors responded (57%).

Survey results found that some of the most common reasons for fellow burnout include personal relationship or family concerns (50%), disrespectful behaviors or attitudes from colleagues (40%), and intensity of call (31%).

According to the survey, “program directors typically become aware of fellow burnout through other fellows (48%), faculty members (43%), or directly from the fellow (41%). Twenty-eight percent of program directors become aware of well-being concerns through a fellow’s clinical performance.”

In efforts to combat fellow burnout, 92% of program directors noted that they’ve made changes to their program, including adjusting clinical rotations (62%), improving workflows to augment clinical efficiency (57%), implementing changes to call responsibilities (54%), and establishing a structured wellness program (44%).

“Most program directors changed their program to mitigate burnout concerns, underscoring the need to implement organizational strategies to reduced burnout and augment physician well-being,” explain Michael W. Cullen, MD, FACC, et al. “Although most program directors had access to institutional resources to support fellow well-being, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on effectiveness of these resources remains a concern. Future work must continue to address maintaining well-being for the next generation of cardiologists in these challenging times.”

Clinical Topics: Prevention, Stress

Keywords: Burnout, Psychological, Attitude, Cardiology, Patient Care, Health Promotion, Faculty, Workflow, Pandemics, Cardiologists, Cardiologists, COVID-19, Fellowships and Scholarships

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