Surgeon burnout, impact on patient safety and professionalism: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Tmam A Al-Ghunaim, Judith Johnson, Chandra Shekhar Biyani, Khalid M Alshahrani, Alice Dunning, Daryl B O'Connor 
Submitted: December, 2021

Fourteen studies were included in the narrative review (including 27,248 participants) and nine studies were included in the meta-analysis. Burnout was associated with a 2.5-fold increased risk of involvement in medical error (OR = 2.51, 95% Cl [1.68-3.72]). The professionalism outcome variables were too diverse for meta-analysis, however, the narrative synthesis indicated a link between high burnout and a higher risk of loss of temper and malpractice suits and lower empathy. No link was found between burnout and patient satisfaction.There is a significant association between higher burnout in surgeons and poorer patient safety. The delivery of interventions to reduce surgeon burnout should be prioritised; such interventions should be evaluated for their potential to produce concomitant improvements in patient safety.

  • Burnout, Professionalism