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Transplant Proc. 2005 Mar;37(2):1399-401.

A national study of burnout among American transplant surgeons.

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1
Division of Transplant Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan 48202-2689, USA.

Abstract

This study examines burnout in a national sample of transplant surgeons. Data analyses were conducted on a sample of 209 actively practicing transplant surgeons. Measures included the Maslach Burnout Inventory, a demographic survey, and the Surgeon Coping Inventory. Burnout was reflected in 38% of surgeons scoring high on the Emotional Exhaustion dimension, whereas 27% showed high levels of Depersonalization, and 16% had low levels of Personal Accomplishment. Several significant predictors of emotional exhaustion were identified and included questioning one's career choice, giving up activities, and perceiving oneself as having limited control over the delivery of medical services (R2= 0.43). Those who perceived themselves as having a higher ability to control delivery of medical services and who felt more appreciated by patients had lower levels of depersonalization and were less likely to question their career choice (R2= 0.16). Surgeons with high personal accomplishment experienced greater professional growth opportunities, perceived their institution as supportive, felt more appreciated by patients, and were less likely to question their career (R2= 0.24). The prioritization of goals to reflect both professional and personal values accounted for a significant amount of the variance in predicting both emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment in separate regression equations. Recommendations to decrease burnout would include greater institutional support, increased opportunities for professional growth, and greater surgeon control over important services to facilitate efficient work. Coping strategies to moderate stress and burnout are also beneficial and should include prioritizing goals to reflect both professional and personal values.

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