Physician burnout undermines safe healthcareBMJ 2022; 378 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o2157 (Published 14 September 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;378:o2157
- Matthias Weigl, Professor of Patient Safety
- Institute for Patient Safety, University Hospital, Bonn University, Bonn, Germany
- M Weigl
A substantial proportion of healthcare professionals report symptoms of burnout.12 Research into the negative ramifications of physician burnout is abundant, with key insights already established long before the onset and ongoing burden of the covid-19 pandemic.34 In a linked paper adding to this work,5 Hodkinson and colleagues (doi:10.1136/bmj-2022-070442) collate 170 observational studies of 239 246 physicians in a large systematic review and meta-analysis examining associations of physician burnout with career engagement and the quality of care provided to patients.
The authors found that burnout was associated with a threefold to almost fourfold increase in the odds of job dissatisfaction and regrets about career choice, that physicians with burnout were three times more likely to consider quitting than staying in their jobs, and that burnout was associated with significantly lower productivity. These findings are a compelling testimony to the pivotal role of burnout in physicians’ career disengagement. …