Burnout Driving Away Many Emergency Physicians

French study finds work-family conflicts, poor teamwork associated with burnout

THURSDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Conflicts between work and family and poor on-the-job teamwork contribute to burnout and drive many physicians, particularly emergency physicians, to want to leave their profession, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

Madeleine Estryn-Behar, M.D., of the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, and colleagues surveyed 3,196 French physicians, including 538 emergency physicians, about work conditions, satisfaction, and health. The researchers compared the responses and attitudes of the emergency physicians and a subset of the physicians generally that was selected to match population demographics.

The investigators found that 17.4 percent of physicians generally and 21.4 percent of emergency physicians wanted to leave the profession and burnout was reported by 42.4 and 51.5 percent of the physicians, respectively. Factors associated with burnout were work-family conflicts and quality of teamwork at work, and those associations were more prevalent among the emergency physicians. In multivariate analysis, burnout doubled the risk of intent to leave.

"In order to prevent the premature departure of French doctors, it is important to improve work-family balance, working processes through collaboration, multidisciplinary teamwork and to develop team training approaches and ward design to facilitate teamwork," the authors write.

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