For a study, researchers sought to investigate burnout knowledge, attitudes, and frequency among Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) Fellowship graduates educated at a comprehensive cancer hospital.

They used the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and 41 unique items to measure previous fellows’ knowledge, attitudes, and frequency of burnout. The study included palliative care fellows who completed their training at a Comprehensive Cancer Center between 2008 and 2018.

Surveys were completed by 84% of the 52 qualified doctors. The median age was 38 years, with 68% of the population being female. About 77% used palliative care (PC) more than 50% of the time. The average length of practice was four years, and 84% were board certified. Cancer (89%) was the most often treated illness type, followed by heart (43%) and pulmonary (43%). The burnout rate was 52% (n=20). Emotional weariness had a median score of 25.5, depersonalization had a score of 9, and personal accomplishment had a score of 48. Burnout was connected with the female gender (P=0.07) and having administration as a component of the job description (P=0.044). Burnout was not substantially connected with the clinical care environment, work hours per week, frequency of weekend calls, or team size.

Burnout was common among former HPM fellows training between 2008 and 2018. However, more study was needed to discover techniques to better prevent and manage burnout among PC doctors who have completed an HPM residency.