A recent study surveyed levels of burnout among physicians. On the whole, ophthalmologists, like Dr. Anthony Economou, had lower levels. An article on ModernMedicine.com reports the details of the study, also covering satisfaction of work/life balances.
It’s true: we associate some jobs with higher levels of stress and anxiety. And in the case of physicians, that association usually holds true. Doctors of all kinds undergo significant pressure from many sides. It’s understandable that we see them as having high levels of strain.
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN implemented a survey to study such stresses among physicians. Led by Dr. Tait D. Shanafelt, the Clinic gave the survey to 7,288 doctors nationwide. The participating doctors led jobs of varying expertise in different disciplines. The Clinic used the American Medical Association’s complete list to send the survey to physicians. They also ensured to take a sample of the general working population for purposes of comparison.
The survey found that 45.8% of the physicians surveyed had at least one indication of stress and burnout. By comparison, however, only 43.4% of ophthalmologists showed signs of burnout. The mean percentage, according to the report, was 45.9.
In digging deeper into the results, the Clinic detailed what specializations of doctors suffered more. Those serving in emergency situations, neurology, internal care and family practices had the highest burnout. Those offering pathological, dermatological, pediatric and preventative care showed the smallest amount of symptoms.
The Clinic compared the physicians’ results to the employed general public. The study surveyed 3,442 general public workers. They found that physicians had a much greater risk of burning out: 37.9% were likely. In contrast, survey also showed that only 27.8% of the general public showed such risk.
The survey offered details in regards to the type of degree that lead to burnout risks. Those with degrees in higher education appeared to have lower risks. However, a medical degree increased the risk significantly. Therefore, it’s clear that the risk doesn’t lie within the individuals. The susceptibility lies within work environment and work demands.
The study also surveyed the amount of satisfaction of work/life balance. 40.2% of doctors seemed to have dissatisfaction with the balance. The general public showed only 23.2% dissatisfaction. Within doctors, 48.5% of doctors said they were satisfied with the balance. Ophthalmologists, such as Dr. Anthony Economou, however, showed 56.8% satisfaction.
Anthony Economou is an expert in the field of ophthalmology. At the Ophthalmology Consultants of Tulsa, he serves patients with 30 years of experience behind him. In addition, he teaches and trains at the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.