Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of burnout and satisfaction with work-life integration among physicians and other US workers in 2017 compared with 2011 and 2014.
Participants and methods: Between October 12, 2017, and March 15, 2018, we surveyed US physicians and a probability-based sample of the US working population using methods similar to our 2011 and 2014 studies. A secondary survey with intensive follow-up was conducted in a sample of nonresponders to evaluate response bias. Burnout and work-life integration were measured using standard tools.
Results: Of 30,456 physicians who received an invitation to participate, 5197 (17.1%) completed surveys. Among the 476 physicians in the secondary survey of nonresponders, 248 (52.1%) responded. A comparison of responders in the 2 surveys revealed no significant differences in burnout scores (P=.66), suggesting that participants were representative of US physicians. When assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory, 43.9% (2147 of 4893) of the physicians who completed the MBI reported at least one symptom of burnout in 2017 compared with 54.4% (3680 of 6767) in 2014 (P<.001) and 45.5% (3310 of 7227) in 2011 (P=.04). Satisfaction with work-life integration was more favorable in 2017 (42.7% [2056 of 4809]) than in 2014 (40.9% [2718 of 6651]; P<.001) but less favorable than in 2011 (48.5% [3512 of 7244]; P<.001). On multivariate analysis adjusting for age, sex, relationship status, and hours worked per week, physicians were at increased risk for burnout (odds ratio, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.26-1.54; P<.001) and were less likely to be satisfied with work-life integration (odds ratio, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.70-0.85; P<.001) than other working US adults.
Conclusion: Burnout and satisfaction with work-life integration among US physicians improved between 2014 and 2017, with burnout currently near 2011 levels. Physicians remain at increased risk for burnout relative to workers in other fields.
Copyright © 2018 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.