Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Burnout among doctors

Is the “burnout epidemic” an academic fiction?

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: (Published 25 September 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j4389
  1. Renzo Bianchi, lecturer and researcher in psychology
  1. Institute of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Neuchâtel, Émile-Argand 11, 2000 Neuchâtel, NE, Switzerland
  1. renzo.bianchi{at}

In their editorial, Lemaire and Wallace1 say that burnout has reached epidemic levels among doctors. This “burnout epidemic,” although widely relayed in medical journals, is unsubstantiated.

The prevalence of burnout cannot be estimated because diagnostic criteria do not exist.2 Estimates that have been made rely on categorisation criteria that are clinically and theoretically …

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