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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2017 Jan - Feb;44:91-95. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2016.03.004. Epub 2016 Jul 16.

Clinician burnout and satisfaction with resources in caring for complex patients.

Author information

HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research, Minneapolis, MN, USA; School of Social Work, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, USA. Electronic address:
HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute for Health Research, Denver, CO, USA.
Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena, CA, USA.



To describe primary care clinicians' self-reported satisfaction, burnout and barriers for treating complex patients.


We conducted a survey of 1554 primary care clinicians in 172 primary care clinics in 18 health care systems across 8 states prior to the implementation of a collaborative model of care for patients with depression and diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.


Of the clinicians who responded to the survey (n=709; 46%), we found that a substantial minority (31%) were experiencing burnout that was associated with lower career satisfaction (P<.0001) and lower satisfaction with resources to treat complex patients (P<.0001). Less than 50% of clinicians rated their ability to treat complex patients as very good to excellent with 21% rating their ability as fair to poor. The majority of clinicians (72%) thought that a collaborative model of care would be very helpful for treating complex patients.


Burnout remains a problem for primary care clinicians and is associated with low job satisfaction and low satisfaction with resources to treat complex patients. A collaborative care model for patients with mental and physical health problems may provide the resources needed to improve the quality of care for these patients.


Burnout; Collaborative care; Depression; Job satisfaction

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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