Physician burnout: an examination of personal, professional, and organizational relationships

Med Care. 1994 Jul;32(7):745-54. doi: 10.1097/00005650-199407000-00007.


This study presents an empirical assessment of burnout among physicians in two staff model HMOs and examines the critical relationships between physician burnout and personal, professional, and organizational/worklife factors. The authors hypothesize that a substantial proportion (> 40%) of physicians will report high scores on emotional exhaustion, the key burnout dimension, and that high emotional exhaustion will be correlated with low evaluations of organizational/worklife factors. The survey results found 58% of the physicians reported scores in high emotional exhaustion. Regression analyses established that organizational measures, specifically, evaluative ratings of Workload/Scheduling and Input/Influence were the strongest predictors of emotional exhaustion. The substantial proportion of physicians reporting scores high on the burnout dimensions, and the potential for management to intervene and improve the factors that foster burnout, suggests the need for organizations to examine the impact of their structures, policies, and procedures on physician stress and quality of worklife.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Maintenance Organizations / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwestern United States / epidemiology
  • New England / epidemiology
  • Organizational Culture
  • Physician Impairment / psychology*
  • Physician Impairment / statistics & numerical data
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Distribution
  • Time Factors
  • Workforce