Background: Academic hospitalist play a crucial role in providing quality patient care, medical education and research. With increase in work load the burnout of hospitalist has significantly increased. This is influencing their well being as well as patient care and medical students teaching. We conducted this survey based project to study the perception of academic hospitalist at Medical college of Wisconsin about burnout and ways to improve hospitalist well being and performance including patient care and teaching.
Methods: A Qualtrics survey was emailed to a total of 52 academic hospitalists(including perioperative hospitalists) at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The survey questionnaire aimed to asses the perception of hospitalists about burnout and its impact on medical education. Responses were obtained on a 5-point Likert scale. Data was analyzed as respective frequencies and percentages. The comparison of the responses between duration of service as hospitalist and gender was done. All analyses were performed using SAS 9.4.
Results: Forty-two hospitalists (80%) completed the survey. 62% hospitalists reported feeling burnout. 95% reported lack of enthusiasm and energy to work as a sign of burnout and 93% felt mental exhaustion.93% of the faculty reported high patient load/census as a cause for burnout and 83% reported unrealistic work load/feeling over worked as the cause for burnout. 69% faculty reported not feeling valued as hospitalist by the residents and other sub-speciality peers as contributing factors. The burnout rate increased proportionately with duration of work as a hospitalist.90%of the hospitalists working for more than 7 years reported burnout.(p=0.14).75%of female hospitalist reported feeling burnout in comparison to 55% of male counterpart.(p=0.65)
Majority of the hospitalists suggested improving the work structure and incorporating respect, care and compassion among the hospitalist as a group culture crucial to combat burnout.81% hospitalist felt that high demands of non teaching clinical works interfered with their time and interest to teach medical students. This finding strongly suggests that burnout is negatively influencing academic hospitalist role as a teacher.
Conclusions: Our survey-based study on academic hospitalists showed the majority of academic hospitalists are experiencing burnout and there is a need for intervention at institutional level to combat this silent epidemic.