Work overload, a lack of autonomy and disputes with administrators are among the many factors contributing to "high burnout" in academic radiologists in the United States.
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Researchers conducted a study on this important health issue that impacts on the delivery of care.
An online survey was sent to 831 members of the Association of University Radiologists. Burnout was measured using the abbreviated Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey. Of the 228 radiologists who returned the questionnaire, nearly 80% had one or more symptoms related to burnout.
Of note, more than one-quarter of respondents met all three criteria for high burnout, including high emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation and a low feeling of personal accomplishment.
The study, published in the journal Academic Radiology, found that excessive workloads and work-life imbalance were the top two factors contributing to radiologist distress.
The researchers also noted that a lack of freedom and conflicts with institutional leadership were associated with high burnout.
Dhakshinamoorthy Ganeshan, MD, with Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and co-authors posited that radiologists may perceive the inability to choose their work pattern as lack of autonomy.
“Similarly, the perception that their voices go unheard and that their views are not taken into account when decisions are made that directly concern their work life may also contribute to the sense of lack of autonomy,” the authors wrote. It's therefore important for administrators to have an open mind and seek out input from physicians when implementing changes that can directly affect workflows, the authors added.
Acknowledging that radiologists themselves also need to take steps to help fight burnout, Dr Ganeshan and co-researchers urge administrators to lead the charge by developing strategies to promote their faculty's wellbeing.
“Considering the known considerable adverse effects of physician burnout, urgent measures are needed to address this malady and promote health and wellness among radiologists,” the authors wrote. “Institutional leadership should pursue meaningful steps to provide an emotionally thriving environment for the physicians to perform at their best.”
Source: Health Imaging
Image credit: iStock
Reference Ganeshan D
et al. (2020) Burnout in Academic Radiologists in the United States. Academic
Radiology; Available online 7 February.