Medicine Physicians

Among emergency medicine residents, 76.1% reported symptoms of burnout, similar to the rate of burnout experienced by emergency medicine physicians. Researchers created the cross-sectional 2017 National Emergency Medicine Resident Wellness Survey; which is to evaluate the burnout rates of emergency medicine residents across the United States.
Previous work shows that emergency medicine attending physicians have higher-than-average rates of burnout. Preliminary data suggest that emergency medicine residents are also at risk for burnout. The objective of this study was to conduct the first national survey assessment of US emergency medicine residents to determine the prevalence of burnout.

Self administered online survey

The self-administer online survey was administer by Academic Life in Emergency Medicine’s Wellness Think Tank; which also included the Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey to assess emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Burnout was defined as high emotional exhaustion or high depersonalization. The 1522 responding residents came from 193 residency programs (57.8% men). As a whole, 76.1% (95% CI, 74%-78.3%) of the residents experienced burnout.

Surveys were completed by 1,522 residents (21.1% of all US emergency medicine residents), representing 193 of 247 US emergency medicine residency programs (78.1%). Within this sample, the prevalence of burnout was 76.1% (95% confidence interval 74.0% to 78.3%). With alternative definitions applied, burnout prevalence rates for this same sample were 18.2% (95% confidence interval 16.3% to 20.1%) with the more restrictive definition; also 80.9% (95% confidence interval 78.9% to 82.9%) with the more inclusive definition.

Survey based approach

Responding residents in the second year of their program; which had an adjusted odds ratio of 1.7 (95% CI, 1.1-2.8) for burnout; also residents in their third year of their program had an adjusted odds ratio of 2.0 (95% CI, 1.2-3.2); its for burnout when compared with residents in the first year of their program. Limitations of this study include the chance for generalizability, non response bias, and sample bias due to the survey-based approach.
Hence the majority of US emergency medicine residents responding to this survey reported symptoms consistent with burnout, highlighting that physician burnout in the emergency medicine profession seems to begin as early as residency training. These findings may provide a baseline against which future work can compare.
So the researchers concluded that among responding emergency residents, 76.1% met criteria for burnout. Burnout within the emergency medicine specialty seems to begin as early as residency training, although [program year] 1 residents seem less burned out. There results provide baseline data that can inform and allow objective evaluation of future individual, programmatic, and systems-level burnout prevention interventions.