Physicians & Executive Coaching

In today's healthcare environment, physicians are experiencing a variety of factors in the profession that contribute to high burnout rates. Executive coaching tailored to meet the unique needs of physicians combats burnout and helps physicians find new meaning in their work.

Excerpt from: Medscape Lifestyle Report 2017: Race and Ethnicity, Bias and Burnout by Carol Peckham  |  January 11, 2017

Nearly 40 percent of the nation's physicians — 39.8 percent — reported experiencing at least one symptom of burnout in Medscape's Physician Lifestyle Report 2013, but the causes of their burnout vary.

The following are the top five causes of physician burnout, as rated by surveyed physicians:

  1. Too many bureaucratic tasks
  2. Spending too many hours at work
  3. Present and future impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  4. Feeling like "just a cog in the wheel"
  5. Income not high enough

A nationwide, multispecialty survey of more than 2,000 physicians conducted by Physician Wellness Services and Cejka Search in late 2011 found that almost 87 percent of respondents felt moderately to severely stressed and burned out on an average day, and almost 63 percent admitted feeling more stressed and burned out now than they did 3 years ago.

The Medscape survey once again asked about burnout among US physicians, which is defined in this and other major studies as a loss of enthusiasm for work, feelings of cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment.[1] Burnout rates for all physician respondents have been trending up since 2013, the first year that Medscape asked about it, when the overall rate was 40%. This year it is 51%, over a 25% increase in just 4 years. A recent major survey supports these findings, reporting that burnout and satisfaction with work-life balance had worsened between 2011 and 2014, with more than half of physicians reporting burnout.[2]

In this year's Medscape report, the highest percentages of burnout occurred among physicians practicing emergency medicine (59%), followed by ob/gyns (56%) and family physicians, internists, and infectious disease physicians (all at 55%). The top four are all physicians who deal directly with patients with a range of complex problems. In Medscape's 2015 and 2016 reports, emergency medicine physicians, family physicians, and internists were also within the top five. Not surprisingly, other research has found high burnout rates in these three professions.[1,3-5]