Intended for healthcare professionals


Brief history of burnout

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 27 December 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k5268

Re: Brief history of burnout - go deeper

The title holds the promise of touching on the history of 'burnout' in aviation. But the author missed the point.

The concept arose during WWI, and survived till WWII. In the full form, it was believed that young pilots burn out their 'volume' of the ability to fly and struggle effectively. In the middle of the 20th century in aviation medicine the concept was not in use because it is not necessary and not productive to bundle the different symptoms of tiredness, anxiety and disillusionment.

This part of the history of aerospace medicine is not totally lost: it is reflected in the handbooks of aerospace medicine of the 1970s and in some texts of the 21st century (1).

I hope that the buzz around this fuzzy concept will go away soon.


Competing interests: No competing interests

11 January 2019
Vasiliy Vlassov
National Research University Higher School of Economics
POB 13 Moscow 109451