News Release

Associations between burnout and practice organization in family physicians

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Academy of Family Physicians

With the rate of burnout as high as 63% among family physicians, it is important to identify risk factors for physician burnout. The relationship between burnout and personal environmental and organizational risk factors was examined in a study of family physicians. A cross-sectional study of 1,437 physicians seeking to continue their American Board of Family Medicine Certification in 2017 was created using data from the examination registration process. Burnout was measured as a positive response to either of two validated questions measuring emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. The study revealed a burnout rate of 43.7%, of which 33.7% worked in hospital-owned practices and 65.5% had no ownership stake in their practice. Controlling for personal characteristics and practice organization, being in a hospital-owned practice and being a partial owner were positively associated with burnout. When also controlling for practice environment, no practice organization variable remained associated with burnout. The most important predictors of burnout were practice environment factors such as satisfaction with hours worked, control over workload, value alignment with department leaders, and sufficient time for documentation.


Associations Between Burnout and Practice Organization in Family Physicians
Lars E. Peterson, MD, PhD, et al.
American Board of Family Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky

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