Physician burnout is an emerging condition that can adversely affect the performance of modern-day medicine. Its three domains are emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a sense of reduced accomplishment among physicians, with the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) being the gold standard questionnaire used to scale physician burnout. This concern not only impacts physicians but the entire healthcare system in general. There is growing awareness regarding the mental health of physicians and the consequences faced by the healthcare system as a result of burnout. According to a recent study, more than 50% of physicians reported suffering from at least one burnout symptom. In this review article, we aim to identify the causes leading to burnout, its impact on physicians, and hospital management as well as interventions to reduce this work-related syndrome. Some contributing factors leading to burnout are poor working conditions with long work shifts, stressful on-call duties, lack of appreciation, and poor social interactions. Burnout can lead to adverse consequences, such as depression, substance use, and suicidal ideation in physicians and residents. This can result in poor patient care increasing total length of stay, re-admissions, and major medical errors. Due to increased scrutiny of patient and healthcare costs, along with increased lawsuits as a result of major medical errors, it is crucial for both the hospital management and physicians to recognize and address burnout among physicians. Comprehensive professional training such as Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), stress-reducing activities such as mindfulness and group activities, and strict implementation of work-hour limitations recommended by Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for residents are a few methods that may help to manage burnout and increase productivity in hospitals.
Keywords: burnout; depression; emotional exhaustion; management; physician burnout; physician depression.