Exploring Academic Pediatrician Perspectives of Factors Impacting Physician Well-Being

Acad Pediatr. 2020 Aug;20(6):833-839. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2020.02.018. Epub 2020 Feb 22.


Objective: Promotion of physician well-being has emerged as a national priority, yet meaningful interventions depend on further understanding the factors that promote and detract from physician well-being. The aim of this study was to better understand the perspectives of academic pediatricians regarding the factors influencing their well-being.

Methods: We conducted a qualitative study using grounded theory methodology. In June 2018, we performed facilitated focus groups with academic pediatric faculty at our institution. Focus groups were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using the constant comparative method to identify key themes.

Results: Fifty-four pediatricians participated in the focus groups. Key themes included 1) pediatricians feel inundated by collective professional and personal pressures, 2) pediatricians feel they have lost control over how time at work is spent, and 3) obscured professional-personal boundaries can cause erosion of personal life.

Conclusions: Pediatricians identified 3 key barriers to well-being: collective pressures, including increasing and competing academic and clinical responsibilities; low value tasks that consume their time; and erosion of personal life. This study adds to the growing literature describing physician well-being as strongly influenced by workplace factors, and offers examples of modifiable factors for further investigation.

Keywords: burnout; physician well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Midwestern United States
  • Occupational Stress / psychology*
  • Pediatricians / psychology*
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Physicians
  • Workplace / psychology*