Physician burnout is associated with unsafe patient care and poor patient satisfaction. Civilian studies show burnout rates of 46% among obstetricians/gynecologists (OB/GYNs). Army Active Duty (A-AD) physician burnout rates range from 7.7% to 26% across specialties, but no studies have assessed A-AD OB/GYN burnout. The objective of this study was to quantify well-being of A-AD OB/GYNs by determining rates of professional fulfillment (wellness) and burnout and detect factors of potential protective or risk for wellness and burnout.
A cross-sectional survey-based study was designed to determine well-being of A-AD OB/GYNs. This Institutional Review Board-approved study used the validated Professional Fulfillment Index. The survey was shared anonymously via email to 197 A-AD OB/GYNs. Additional questions asked as possible risk factors for burnout include location, training status, fellowship training, and remaining active duty service obligation (ADSO). Wellness and burnout rates were determined using published scales. Mean rates of wellness and burnout were reported, and chi-square tests detected associations between wellness/burnout and other variables.
Eighty-three A-AD OB/GYNs responded to the survey (42%), with 73 available for full analysis. 26.5% had positive wellness, and 50% reported burnout. Completing fellowship training and shorter ADSO (of 0-2 years compared to >5 years) had higher rates of wellness. There were no differences in burnout among groups.
Burnout rates in A-AD OB/GYNs appear higher than A-AD physicians of other specialties but are similar to civilian OB/GYNs. Fellowship training may confer higher rates of wellness. Further research is needed regarding improvements in A-AD OB/GYN well-being and burnout.

Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States 2021. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.