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Frequency and Prediction of Burnout Among Physicians Who Completed Palliative Care Fellowship Training - A 10 Year Survey

      Abstract

      Context

      Palliative Care (PC) physicians are vulnerable to burnout given the nature of practice. Reports suggest that burnout frequency is variable across different countries.

      Objective

      The main objective of our study was to determine knowledge, attitudes and frequency of burnout among Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) Fellowship graduates trained at a comprehensive cancer center.

      Methods

      We conducted a survey to determine the knowledge, attitudes, and frequency of burnout in former fellows, consisting of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and 41 custom questions. Palliative care fellows who trained at a Comprehensive Cancer Center from 2008 to 2018 were included in the survey.

      Results

      Eighty-four percent of the 52 eligible physicians completed surveys. Median age was 38 years, with 68% females. Seventy-seven percent practiced PC more than 50% of time. Median practice duration was four years, and 84% were board certified. Most common disease types treated were cancer (89%), cardiac (43%) and pulmonary (43%). Burnout rate was high at 52% (n=20). The median scores for emotional exhaustion were 25.5, depersonalization 9, and personal accomplishment 48. Female gender (P=0.07) and having administration as a component in the job description (P=0.044) were associated with risk of burnout. Clinical care setting, work hours/week, frequency of weekend calls, and size of team were not significantly associated with burnout.

      Conclusion

      Burnout among former fellows trained in HPM between 2008 and 2018 is high. More research is needed to develop strategies to better prevent and manage burnout among HPM fellowship trained PC physicians.

      Key Words

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