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Majority of Neurologists Report Symptoms of Burnout

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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