As physician burnout continues to capture national attention and concern for its serious implications for quality of care, a new Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) study provides new insights around the issue’s root causes.
The study, conducted by a MGH Department of Medicine research team, utilized an online survey of all 988 full-time department members to assess professional satisfaction and whether respondents felt valued—along with identifying specific factors from mentorship to discrimination based on race or sex. Findings from the 556 responses received highlighted that feeling valued, being treated with respect, and working in a supportive environment were factors most strongly associated with job satisfaction. Participants’ sex, race/ethnicity, and academic rank were not found to be associated with their job satisfaction.
The results, published online in JAMA Internal Medicine, provide entry points to help health systems implement effective approaches to prevent and treat physician burnout. “As we think about the urgent call to alleviate burnout, efforts focused in the domain of social capital—efforts dedicated to ensuring that physicians feel valued, respected, and supported—appear to be vital,” says Arabella L. Simpkin, MD, MMSc, lead and corresponding author of the study.
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