51+ Physician Burnout Statistics (Rates)

A survey of physicians found that 42% experienced symptoms of burnout. Find more physician burnout statistics in this roundup.

steven zauderer
Steven Zauderer
August 30th, 2022

Key Physician Burnout Statistics

  1. 42% of physicians experienced symptoms of burnout in 2021.
  2. Almost 50% of generation X physicians report feeling burned out.
  3. 96% of medical professionals report that burnout is an issue. Not only do doctors recognize this issue, their leaders and executives also agree.
  4. 60% of survey respondents say, "too many bureaucratic tasks causes burnout."
  5. 42% of physicians are hesitant to seek mental health treatment.
  6. 43% of medical professionals isolated themselves in order to deal with burnout in 2021.
  7. 26% of medical professionals consumed alcohol in order to deal with burnout in 2021.
  8. 40% of doctors who get burnout say they lack resources that are necessary to provide patient care.
  9. 51% of female and 36% of male physicians experience burnout.
  10. Doctors below the age of 55 years old are 200% more likely to experience burnout.
  11. Doctors with children younger than 21 years old have 54% increased chances of feeling burnout.
  12. Only 67% of family practitioners would choose family medicine as their specialty again.
  13. Less than half (42.7%) of medical professionals who experience burnout report satisfaction with their work-life balance, in 2017.
  14. InCrowd's Physician Burnout Report showed that 79% of primary care professionals are feeling burnout. The research was conducted in 2016.

Physician Burnout & Mental Health Issues Statistics

  1. Suicide deaths are around 250-400% higher amongst female physicians compared to females working in other occupations.
  2. 94% of female physicians don't disclose their mental health diagnosis.
  3. In 2021, 53% of depressed doctors said it affected their work, and 47% said it didn't interfere with patient interactions.
  4. 35% of depressed doctors experience more irritation with patients.
  5. 26% of depressed doctors have less motivation to be careful with patient note-taking.
  6. 14% of depressed doctors make mistakes that they wouldn't normally make.
  7. 21% of physicians with burnout said it was due to the coronavirus pandemic. From the difficult conditions, long hours, and constant stress, many aspects of the pandemic increased physician burnout rates.
  8. 37% of physicians said that too many hours at their job contributes to burnout.
  9. Due to COVID-19, 72% of physicians have experienced a pay reduction while simultaneously working extra hours.
  10. The average physician has $190,000 - $206,000 of medical school debt, which places a big financial burden on them and can increase rates of burnout.
  11. Medical students are at a much higher risk than most people to face depression. In fact, medical students experience 15-30% higher rates of depression than the general population.
  12. On average, 45% of resident physicians experience symptoms of burnout, and 28% experience major depression.
  13. 26% of physicians work 51-60 hours per week, 25% work 60-80 hours, and the majority works 50-80 hours.
  14. More than half (54%) of doctors say EHRS decrease professional satisfaction.
  15. 33% of doctors need more than 50% more time for patient care, which is all the time they currently spend in EHR systems.
  16. Nearly one in five doctors will likely reduce their work hours in the next year. More than 25% said they were likely to leave their practice in the next two years, and some even said they planned on trying a different career.
doctors will reduce work hours

Cost Of Physician Burnout

Cost Of Physician Burnout
  1. Physician burnout costs between $2.6 and $6.3 billion per year.
  2. There will be a shortage of 122,000 physicians by 2032. The growing and aging U.S. population means more patients and more workloads for doctors.
shortage of physicians

Nurses Burnout Statistics

nurse depression and burnout rate
  1. 18% of hospital nurses experience signs of depression. Burnout and emotional exhaustion is affecting nurses across the country.
  2. In 2019, 35% to 54% of physicians and nurses reported feeling burnout.
  3. 50% of registered nurses consider leaving their profession. A variety of factors cause emotional exhaustion for nurses which is leading them to leave their profession.
  4. 18% of nurses and 16% of emergency physicians meet diagnostic criteria of PTSD. PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that's caused by exposure to a traumatic event. Since emergency health workers frequently experience traumatic situations, they are at a risk for PTSD.
physicians and doctors meet PTSD criteria

Number Of Doctor & Physician Suicides

number of doctors that die from suicide per year
  1. There are 300-400 doctors that die from suicide every year. The suicide rate for physicians is 28-40 per 100,000 people. Unfortunately, this is more than twice the rate of the average American.
  2. 1 in 100 doctors actually attempted suicide in 2021.
  3. 13% of physicians report having suicidal thoughts but not attempting suicide.
  4. Female doctors have 250-400% higher suicide rates due to depression and stress, according to a report from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
  5. Doctors are twice as likely to think about suicide and potentially attempt it as well compared to the general population.
  6. The average U.S. doctor helps around 2,300 patients, and with up to 400 physician suicides per year, almost 1 million patients lose their medical expert.

The Physician Burnout Statistics That'll Surprise You

What percentage of physicians are burned out?

42% of physicians experienced symptoms of burnout in 2021.

physician burnout statistics

96% of medical professionals report that burnout is an issue. Not only do doctors recognize this issue, their leaders and executives also agree.

most doctors say burnout is an issue

Physician burnout rates by specialty

According to Medscape's 2022 Physician Burnout and Depression report, here are the types of physicians that are most burned out in 2021:

Type Of Physician Burnout Prevalence
Emergency medicine 60%
Critical care 56%
Obstetrics and gynecology 53%
Family medicine 51%
Infectious diseases 51%
Diabetes and endrocinology 50%
Physical medicine and rehabilitation 50%
Pediatrics 49%
Radiology 49%
Pulmonary medicine 48%
Gastroenterology 48%
Urology 48%
Internal medicine 48%
Anesthesiology 47%
Neurology 46%
Rheumatology 46%
General surgery 44%
Cardiology 42%
Allergy and immunology 42%
Nephrology 40%
Plastic Surgery 40%
Ophthalmology 40%
Psychiatry 38%
Orthopedics 37%
Otolaryngology 37%
Oncology 36%
Pathology 35%
Dermatology 33%
Public health and preventive medicine 26%

How many doctors are burnt out?

47% of doctors working at healthcare organizations are burnt out.

number of doctors who are burned out

What medical specialty has the highest burnout rate?

According to a Medscape's 2022 Physician Burnout and Depression report, emergency medicine physicians have the highest rates of burnout (60%) among all physician specialties.

medical specialty with highest rates of burnout

Why is physician burnout so high?

A variety of factors contribute to the high rates of physician burnout:

  1. Overwhelming workloads
  2. Traumatic experiences
  3. Increasing demands of electronic health records
  4. Relatively short appointment times considering what needs to be done

What is the most stressful type of doctor?

In a recent survey about depression and burnout, more than 15,000 physicians from 29 specialties submitted responses.

The survey asked about the prevalence of physician burnout and how physicians' lives are affected by them.

Below are the highest percentages of burnout that occurred among these medical specialties:

Specialty Burnout Prevalence
Neurology 48%
Critical care 48%
Family medicine 47%
Obstetrics and gynecology 46%
Internal medicine 46%
Emergency medicine 45%

Wrapping Up

Many physicians are suffering from mental health, anxiety, and depression, which all contribute to physician burnout rates.

Healthcare workers are responsible for our country's health and safety, and because of the high workload in the healthcare industry, they are experiencing symptoms of burnout.

Sources

  1. https://www.ama-assn.org/practice-management/physician-health/physician-burnout-which-medical-specialties-feel-most-stress
  2. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-physician-relationships/29-physician-specialties-ranked-by-2021-burnout-rates.html
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538330
  4. https://www.ahrq.gov/prevention/clinician/ahrq-works/burnout/index.html
steven zauderer

CEO of CrossRiverTherapy - a national ABA therapy company based in the USA.

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