Anesthesiology residency program director burnout

J Clin Anesth. 2011 May;23(3):176-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinane.2011.02.001. Epub 2011 Apr 1.


Study objective: To evaluate work-related stress as well as personal factors associated with professional burnout in program directors of anesthesiology.

Design: Survey instrument.

Setting: Academic anesthesiology department.

Subjects: Anesthesiology residency program directors (n = 132).

Measurements: A 5-part structured, open-ended questionnaire evaluating program and respondents' demographic information, work-related stressors, assessment of control of respondent's personal life using the modified efficiency scale, the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services survey (MBI-HSS), and assessment of spousal/significant relationship support.

Main results: 100 program directors (76%) responded to the survey. Twenty respondents met the criteria for high burnout risk, and an additional 30 were at risk of developing burnout. Twenty-two directors reported the high likelihood that they would step down in one to two years. Forty-three percent who reported the high likelihood of stepping down stated they were significantly affected by job-related stressors compared with 18% who reported a lower likelihood of stepping down (P = 0.03). Program directors who scored in the high burnout risk category were more likely to report lower current job satisfaction (P < 0.005) and an increased likelihood of stepping down in the next two years (P = 0.009). Logistic regression analysis identified compliance issues, self-assessment of effectiveness, family/significant other support, perceived impact of stressful factors, and current job satisfaction as predictors of high burnout. The model had a sensitivity (95% CI) of 0.55 (0.34 to 0.74) and specificity of 0.99 (0.92 to 1.0) for predicting high burnout risk.

Conclusions: Fifty-two percent of anesthesiology program directors are at high risk for developing burnout syndrome. Job-related stress, especially with administrative duties regarding compliance, was predictive of burnout among program directors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anesthesiology / education*
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology