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Majority of Neurologists Report Symptoms of Burnout

News  |  By MedPage Today  
   January 27, 2017

Returned surveys from 1,671 U.S. neurologists showed that six out of 10 have experienced some symptom of burnout -- including emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, or low personal accomplishment. From MedPage Today.

This article first appeared January 26, 2017 on MedPage Today.

By Alexandria Bachert

High rates of self-reported burnout continue to plague U.S. neurologists, yet many still report being satisfied with their job overall, according to a recent survey from the American Academy of Neurology.

Returned surveys from 1,671 U.S. neurologists showed that six out of 10 have experienced some symptom of burnout -- including emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, or low personal accomplishment, Terrence Cascino, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues reported online in Neurology.

Still, 67% said they were satisfied with their job in general, and the same proportion said they would choose to be a neurologist if they were starting all over again.

"We love taking care of our neurological patients," Raghav Govindarajan, MD, a neurologist at the University of Missouri, who was not involved in the study, told MedPage Today. "In fact, neurology is one of the few specialties where we spend a lot of time taking history and doing exams."

The burnout, he said, "is due to external factors like increased paper work, insurance hassles, and ever-increasing regulation that is keeping us away from our patients and taking the pleasure out of being a neurologist."

In a statement, Cascino said the findings "confirm our recognition of burnout as a serious issue facing our profession and why the well-being of neurologists -- starting with decreasing regulatory hassles -- must be addressed to ensure our patients receive the highest quality care."

Cascino and his team sent their survey to 4,127 AAN members, and garnered a response rate of about 41%. Median responder age was 51, and they had an average of 17 years in practice, working about 56 hours per week. Most were from clinical practice, but a third spent time in academic practice.

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