More than 40% of physicians in the United States reported at least one symptom of burnout, which is particularly high among family physicians. This study examined a nationally-representative sample of family physicians to determine whether physician race-ethnicity was associated with burnout among a nationally-representative sample of family physicians. Of the 3,0916 physicians studied, 450 (15%) were from racial-ethnic groups underrepresented in medicine (UIM), which include Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians and Pacific Islanders who together comprise 30-35% of the general population yet account for only 12.4% of family physicians. The study findings support the researchers' hypothesis that UIMs were significantly less likely than their non-UIM counterparts to report emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. This may be attributed to practicing in more racially-diverse counties and being less likely to practice obstetrics, both of which partially mediated the protective effect of UIM status on depersonalization. The mediating effect of working in more racially and ethnically diverse counties is consistent with evidence of the beneficial effect of cultural diversity on health outcomes for minorities and better overall self-rated health among adults. Understanding the attributes of UIMs that may prevent burnout may also provide insights for developing a more resilient physician workforce.
Lower Likelihood of Burnout Among Family Physicians From Underrepresented Racial-Ethnic Groups
Montgomery Douglas, MD, et al
Department of Family Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut
The Annals of Family Medicine