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Association of Burnout and Other Factors Within Physicians and Advanced Practice Providers in an Academic Surgery Department.

American Surgeon 2024 June 3
BACKGROUND: Provider burnout is a work-related syndrome that is under-recognized, under-reported, and has negative repercussions on the individual, system, and patients. This study investigated burnout incidence and its association with wellness characteristics such as resilience, psychological safety, and perceptions of the workplace to inform future work in improving well-being.

METHODS: Electronic surveys were sent to 153 physicians and advanced practice providers (APPs) in the department of surgery at a single institution. Survey topics included demographics, intention to stay, engagement, and items from validated measures for workplace perceptions including work pace/stress (Mini Z), burnout, psychological safety, and resilience. Descriptive statistics, bivariate associations, and logistic regression were used to evaluate responses.

RESULTS: Overall response rate was 47%. The majority of providers reported feeling burned out (56%), and 48% indicated they would probably leave the organization within three years. Additionally, 61% reported being satisfied with their job and 55% felt that they contributed professionally in the ways they value most (meaningful work/engagement). Significant predictors for burnout included negative work environment perceptions (work pace/stress), low resilience, low meaningful work, and professional role (physician vs APP).

DISCUSSION: Maintaining a healthy workforce requires investigation into the factors that support workplace well-being. The strongest predictors of burnout were work pace/stress. Protective factors against burnout were psychological safety and resilience. An organizational culture that promotes psychological safety, as well as workplace improvements to enhance providers' sense of meaning in work, and decreasing work pace and stress may contribute to the prevention of burnout and the retention.

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