Intended for healthcare professionals


Physician burnout undermines safe healthcare

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: (Published 14 September 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;378:o2157

Linked Research

Associations of physician burnout with career engagement and quality of patient care

  1. Matthias Weigl, Professor of Patient Safety
  1. Institute for Patient Safety, University Hospital, Bonn University, Bonn, Germany
  1. M Weigl matthias.weigl{at}

Urgent action is required to protect patients, physicians, and health systems

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. …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription