American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society Annual Meeting
American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society Annual Meeting
Source/Disclosures
Source:

Nugent RE, et al. Burnout rates amongst general orthopaedic surgeons and subspecialists: A pilot study. Presented at: American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society Annual Meeting; Sept. 10-12, 2020 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Nugent reports no relevant financial disclosures.
September 11, 2020
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Pilot study investigates physician burnout among orthopedic subspecialties

Source/Disclosures
Source:

Nugent RE, et al. Burnout rates amongst general orthopaedic surgeons and subspecialists: A pilot study. Presented at: American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society Annual Meeting; Sept. 10-12, 2020 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Nugent reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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A study on burnout among orthopedists shows those with the highest risk are older, have higher debt loads and most often reside in the oncology, sports medicine and trauma subspecialties.

Robert E. Nugent Jr., DO, from the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, presented his findings on physician burnout at the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society Annual Meeting. The meeting was held virtually.

“Burnout is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment,” Nugent said in his presentation. “Burnout tends to be most common among physicians as a consequence of long working hours, limited resources, lack of physician autonomy, insufficient support from co-workers, stresses associated with the responsibility of patient care, as well as emotional contact with patients,” he said.

“While burnout rates among orthopedic surgeons have been reported up to 50% to 60% vs. 30% to 40% in general surgeons, no studies have evaluated burnout rates among orthopedic generalists and subspecialists,” Nugent added.

From March 2019 to December 2019, Nugent and colleagues analyzed 149 attending orthopedic surgeons across a variety of subspecialties for burnout using an abbreviated 12-item version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory – Human Services Survey, “the gold standard tool for measuring burnout,” Nugent said. Researchers also added 27 questions to assess surgeons’ demographics, personal and professional characteristics, and family lives.

Mean burnout among the entire cohort was 62.29%, with 16.8% screening positive for depression, according to Nugent. Subspecialities with the highest rates of burnout were oncology at 100%, sports medicine at 67.7% and trauma at 62.5%, while the subspecialties with lowest rates of burnout were shoulder and elbow at 50%, pediatrics at 51.6%, and foot and ankle at 53.8%.

Nugent and colleagues also found independent factors associated with lower rates of burnout.

“These include being satisfied with work environment, being satisfied with family and home life, as well as working more hours,” Nugent said.

“This is the first study focusing on burnout across orthopedic subspecialties, and we will hopefully shed some light on an oppressing issue facing the orthopedic community, as well as the medical community at large,” Nugent concluded. “Larger studies are needed so that burnout can be more appropriately managed within the field of orthopedic surgery in the future.”