Self-valuation: Attending to the Most Important Instrument in the Practice of Medicine

Mayo Clin Proc. 2019 Oct;94(10):2022-2031. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2019.04.040. Epub 2019 Sep 19.


Objective: To measure self-valuation, involving constructive prioritization of personal well-being and a growth mindset perspective that seeks to learn and improve as the primary response to errors, in physicians and evaluate its relationship with burnout and sleep-related impairment.

Methods: We analyzed cross-sectional survey data collected between July 1, 2016, and October 31, 2017, from 5 academic medical centers in the United States. All faculty and medical-staff physicians at participating organizations were invited to participate. The self-valuation scale included 4 items measured on a 5-point (0-4) Likert scale (summative score range, 0-16). The self-valuation scale was developed and pilot tested in a sample of 250 physicians before inclusion in the multisite wellness survey, which also included validated measures of burnout and sleep-related impairment.

Results: Of the 6189 physicians invited to participate, 3899 responded (response rate, 63.0%). Each 1-point score increase in self-valuation was associated with -1.10 point lower burnout score (95% CI, -1.16 to -1.05; standardized β=-0.53; P<.001) and 0.81 point lower sleep-related impairment score (95% CI, -0.85 to -0.76; standardized β=-0.47; P<.001), adjusting for sex and medical specialty. Women had lower self-valuation (Cohen d=0.30) and higher burnout (Cohen d=0.22) than men. Lower self-valuation scores in women accounted for most of the sex difference in burnout.

Conclusion: Low self-valuation among physicians is associated with burnout and sleep-related impairment. Further research is warranted to develop and test interventions that increase self-valuation as a mechanism to improve physician well-being.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Burnout, Professional / diagnosis*
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic Self Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine*
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Health*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • United States