Burnout Among Cardiology Fellowship Program Directors

Quick Takes

  • Most CV fellowship program directors (PDs) are satisfied with their jobs, feel supported by leadership, and do not report symptoms of burnout.
  • However, a near-majority reported stress related to their role as PD, and symptoms of burnout remain prevalent. Furthermore, women PDs and PDs of university-based programs were less likely to report adequate support from leadership and adequate administrative support.
  • Organizational efforts to reduce stress and burnout and improve PD well-being are indicated for all PDs and can specifically target women PDs and PDs of university-based programs.

Study Questions:

What is the rate of burnout and well-being among cardiovascular disease (CV) fellowship program directors (PDs)?

Methods:

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) Cardiovascular Program Director and Graduate Medical Education Section developed the 3rd Annual Cardiovascular Program Director Survey to understand burnout among CV fellowship PDs. The survey contained eight questions examining satisfaction, stress, and burnout among CV fellowship PDs. Burnout was defined based on the self-reported presence of ≥1 symptom of burnout, constant feelings of burnout, or complete burnout.

Results:

Survey response rate was 57%. Most respondents were men (78%) and 54% represented university-based programs. Eighty percent reported satisfaction with their current job as PD, and 96% identified interactions with fellows as a driver of their satisfaction. Forty-five percent reported feeling a great deal of stress from their job. Stress was higher among women PDs, early-career PDs, and PDs of larger and university-based programs. Twenty-one percent reported some symptoms of burnout, and only 36% reported enjoyment without stress or burnout. Rates of enjoyment without stress or burnout were higher among men and late-career PDs, PDs of smaller programs, and PDs of community-based programs. Seventeen percent of PDs reported a high likelihood of resigning in the next year, of which the most common reason was the tasks of PDs were becoming overwhelming.

Conclusions:

The authors concluded that most CV fellowship PDs are satisfied with their position, but stress and burnout remain common.

Perspective:

This survey study reports that most CV fellowship PDs are satisfied with their jobs, feel supported by leadership, and do not report symptoms of burnout. However, a near-majority reported stress related to their role as PD, and symptoms of burnout remain prevalent. Women PDs, early- and midcareer PDs, and PDs of larger, university-based programs demonstrated more adverse markers of well-being. Furthermore, women PDs and PDs of university-based programs were also less likely to report adequate support from leadership and adequate administrative support. Organizational efforts to reduce stress and burnout and improve PD well-being are indicated for all PDs and can specifically target PDs at higher risk of burnout.

Keywords: Burnout, Professional, Burnout, Psychological, Cardiology, Education, Medical, Graduate, Fellowships and Scholarships, Leadership, Occupational Stress, Personal Satisfaction, Primary Prevention, Stress, Psychological, Universities, Women


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