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CHICAGO — The problem of physician burnout has been increasingly recognized over the past decade and it will persist until changes are made at the organizational level, according to speakers at the internal medicine meeting of the ACP.

During the presentation, Connie Newman, MD, MACP, FAMAO, adjunct professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine and former president of the American Medical Women’s Association, said about 40% of doctors suffer from burnout.

“Studies have shown that the rate of burnout is higher among female physicians,” she told Healio. “This may be linked to the challenges facing female doctors today – including gender bias, women’s dual roles as doctor and mother/caregiver, pay inequality and slower career progression.”

Newman emphasized that burnout is not a particular doctor’s problem. It’s a matter of organization. As such, Ankita Sagar, MD, MPH, FACP, an associate professor of medicine at Hofstra/Northwell’s Zucker School of Medicine in Great Neck, NY, said it’s important for health care leaders to be an “agency to effect change.”

However, Jason Schneider, MD, FACP, an associate professor at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, noted that the medical profession is “really in its infancy” in dealing with burnout, and “leaders are struggling to know where to start. “. He encouraged them to see physician burnout as a “crucial conversation” that needs to happen.

“We know burnout is a problem, but I think it’s still possible to point it out as a starting point for changing workplace culture,” he said.

In this video, Newman, Sagar, and Schneider discuss highlights from their presentation on physician burnout and the efforts needed to begin to address it.

Reference:

Sagar A, et al. Burnout: It’s a matter of leadership. Presented at: ACP Internal Medicine Meeting; April 28-30, 2022; Chicago.