University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Perceptions of Burnout Among Academic Hospitalists

Chad Glisch, MD; Sanjay Yadav, MD; Sanjay Bhandari, MD; Pinky Jha, MD, MPH

WMJ. 2021;120(4):268-272.

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Introduction: There is a paucity of data on burnout among academic hospitalists in Wisconsin.

Objective/Methods: To evaluate perceptions on burnout among academic hospitalists at an academic center in Wisconsin, a survey was distributed to academic hospitalists at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Questions addressed job satisfaction, factors contributing to burnout and its consequences, and various preventive steps. A section was included for respondents to provide any additional comments.

Results: Out of 52 academic hospitalists surveyed, 43 (83%) responded. Sixty-two percent of participants reported feeling burnout. Burnout rates did not differ by gender (males vs females, 58% vs 73%, respectively; P  = 0.65), career length as a hospitalist (P = 0.28), or satisfaction as a hospitalist (P = 0.11). High patient census (94%) and unrealistic workload (83%) were the most commonly cited factors for burnout. Possible consequences of burnout included lack of enthusiasm (95%) and mental exhaustion (93%). A majority of respondents (81%) indicated that high clinical demands interfered with their ability to teach medical students. Improving the structure of work (88%) and incorporating respect, care, and compassion as a group culture (88%) were the most common themes reported to prevent burnout.

Conclusion: This study shows a high prevalence of burnout among academic hospitalists and highlights various opportunities to reduce burnout risk.

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Glisch, Bhandari, Jha); Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania (Yadav).
Corresponding Author: Pinky Jha, MD, MPH, FACP, Division of General Internal Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, HUB for Collaborative Medicine, 7th Floor, 8701 W Watertown Plank Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53226; phone 414.955.0356, email
Funding/Support: None declared .
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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