Burnout is a type of moral, mental, emotional, and often physical exhaustion that can have negative impacts on the mental health, productivity, and quality of care provided by the health care professional. Burnout is also associated with feelings of dissatisfaction and demoralization as well as increased rates of medical error by health care providers. While burnout can stem from a wide array of factors, the Mayo Team has identified the following as the most prominent: lack of control at work, unclear expectations, dysfunctional work environments, lack of social support, and poor work-life balance1. With commoditization of physicians and other health care providers on the rise, the prevalence of burnout will likely increase if dramatic changes are not made to the health care system. The economic cost of burnout in the US alone is estimated at $4.6 billion annually2, although it is important to remember that burnout is a global problem. The Center for Professionalism and Value in Health Care is actively investigating root causes of burnout, interventions to curb burnout, and most importantly, changes to the health care environment that emphasizes quality care and provider emotional and physical well-being.
- Know the signs of job burnout. Mayo Clinic. Accessed July 9, 2020.
- Han S, Shanafelt TD, Sinsky CA, et al. Estimating the Attributable Cost of Physician Burnout in the United States. Ann Intern Med. 2019;170(11):784-790. doi:10.7326/M18-1422
- Olson KD. Physician Burnout—A Leading Indicator of Health System Performance? Mayo Clin Proc. 2017;92(11):1608-1611. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2017.09.008
- Saultz J. Burnout. Family Medicine. doi:10.22454/FamMed.2020.598170
- Shanafelt TD, Dyrbye LN, West CP, Sinsky CA. Potential Impact of Burnout on the US Physician Workforce. Mayo Clin Proc. 2016;91(11):1667-1668. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.08.016