Physician Burnout and Associated Factors: Orthopaedics vs Anesthesia

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John Reynolds
Bradley Wiekrykas
Frederick V. Ramsey
Christopher Haydel
Meera Gonzalez


Background: Physician burnout has garnered increased attention in recent studies. It is attributed to the intrinsic stresses of medical practice and affects the quality of patient care. Previous studies have reported roughly half of orthopedic surgery and anesthesiology faculty and residents suffer symptoms of burnout.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a significant difference in burnout rates among orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiologists, between faculty and residents in both specialties, and possible associated factors that may predispose participants to experience burnout.    

Methods: Data was gathered using the Maslach Burnout inventory survey (42 questions), which was distributed during the spring/summer of 2017 to orthopaedic surgery and anesthesiology residents and attending physicians, anesthesiology residents, orthopedic surgery faculty, and orthopedic surgery residents from various programs in the northeastern United States.

Results: Survey Response rate was 238/666 = 38% response. As compared to attendings, residents scored: worse on Emotional Exhaustion; worse on Depersonalization and worse on Personal Accomplishment. When comparing specialties; for Emotional Exhaustion, Orthopaedic surgery scored better as compared with Anesthesiology. On Personal Accomplishment, Orthopaedic surgery scored better as compared with Anesthesiology. Residents had higher levels of burnout compared to attendings. Regarding specialty, Orthopaedic surgery scored significantly lower with regard to Emotional Exhaustion and Personal Accomplishment. It was also discovered that Orthopaedic surgeons overall have more social events, and more residents have mentors.

Conclusion: Residents consistently demonstrated higher levels of burnout than attendings in both anesthesiology and orthopaedic surgery. Having a mentor and more interdepartmental social events may protect against burnout.

Physician burnout, medical practice, patient care, anesthesiology, emotional exhaustion

Article Details

How to Cite
Reynolds, J., Wiekrykas, B., V. Ramsey, F., Haydel, C., & Gonzalez, M. (2019). Physician Burnout and Associated Factors: Orthopaedics vs Anesthesia. Advances in Research, 20(1), 1-9.
Original Research Article


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