Are orthopedic surgeons prone to burnout?

Saudi Med J. 2005 Aug;26(8):1180-2.


Objective: Burnout syndrome (BOS) is a state of physical, and emotional or mental exhaustion, depersonalization, and low personal accomplishment. Health care givers are most prone to suffer from BOS. There are no studies to date on BOS among trained orthopedic, and trauma surgeons. The objective of this study, was to assess the prevalence of BOS among the orthopedic surgeons in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia.

Methods: This study was conducted among the orthopedic surgeons of the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia between September 2003 and October 2004. One hundred and two questionnaires of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) were sent to the qualified orthopedic surgeons with a self-addressed stamped envelope, from the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, King Fahd Hospital of the University, Al-Khobar. Three factors of MBI, which were assessed, were emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. The data were entered in the database, and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science.

Results: Sixty-nine (67.6%) of the orthopedic surgeons completed the questionnaire. The average age was 45.72 +/- 6.82 (33-57) years. Thirty-five (50.7%) were found to be in a state of emotional exhaustion, 59.4% depersonalized, and 17% had low state of personal accomplishment. Doctors working in the government hospitals fared better than those in the private sector.

Conclusion: Burnout syndrome is common among orthopedic surgeons working in the Eastern province Saudi Arabia. It is emphasized that awareness of the problem should be highlighted; programs need to be put in place to reduce the prevalence of burnout syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthopedics*
  • Prevalence
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology