Physician burnout refers to depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and a sense of lower personal accomplishment. Affecting approximately 50% of physicians in the United States, physician burnout negatively impacts both the physician and patient. Over a 3-year-period, this prospective study evaluated the multidisciplinary approach to decreasing provider burnout and improving provider well-being in our metropolitan community.
A multidisciplinary Well-Being Task Force was established at our Institution in 2017 to assess the myriad factors that may play a role in provider burnout and offer solutions to mitigate the stressors that may lead to decreased provider well-being. Four multifaceted strategies were implemented: (1) provider engagement & growth; (2) workflow/office efficiencies; (3) relationship building; and (4) communication. Providers at our Institution took the Mayo Clinic’s well-being index survey on 3 occasions over 3 years. Their scores were compared to those of providers nationally at baseline and at 1 and 2 years after implementing organizational and individualized techniques to enhance provider well-being. Lower well-being index scores reflected better well-being.
The average overall well-being index scores of our Institution’s providers decreased from 1.76 at baseline to 1.32 2 years later compared to an increase in well-being index scores of physicians nationally (1.73 to 1.85). Both male and female providers’ average well-being index scores at our Institution decreased over the 3 years of this study, from 1.72 to 1.58 for males and 1.78 to 1.21 for females, while physicians’ scores nationally increased for both genders. The average well-being index scores were highest for providers at our Institution who graduated from medical school less than 5 years earlier (2.0) and who graduated 15-24 years earlier (2.3), whereas the average lowest scores were observed in providers who graduated ≥25 years earlier (1.37). Obstetricians/gynecologists and internal medicine physicians had the highest average well-being index scores (2.48 and 2.4, respectively) compared to other medical specialties. The turnover rate of our Institution’s providers was 5.6% in 2017 and 3.9% in 2019, reflecting a 30% decrease.
This study serves as a model to reduce provider burnout and enhance well-being through both organizational and individual interventions.