top of page
  • Writer's pictureBruce Cummings

The Burden of Clinician & Physician Burnout - A Study

Updated: May 13

Anyone interested in the staggering burden of clinician burnout will want to read the original investigation by Linda Aiken et al, “Physician and Nurse Well-Being and Preferred Interventions to Address Burnout in Hospital Practice: Factors Associated With Turnover, Outcomes, and Patient Safety."

What makes this study so compelling — in addition its large multicenter survey study of 15,738 nurses and 5312 physicians — is the finding that respondents “rated improvements in staffing and work environments as more important to their mental health and well-being than instituting clinician wellness and resilience programs.” In other words, the very focus that most hospitals have adopted — expanding wellness and resilience services for employees — misses the mark. While the addition or expansion of such services may offer some short-term benefit to beleaguered clinicians, they do not address the underlying causes of burnout. In short, the problem is not the worker, it is the workplace.

Senior Leadership & Their Role of Preventing Workplace Burnout

Senior leaders must “own” coming up with affirmative steps — in consultation with their clinical staffs — to change the conditions in the workplace and workflow which give rise to burnout. It can be done. It must be done. Those hospital leadership teams which recognize their responsibility vis-a-vis burnout — and who can successfully improve the work environment for clinicians — will become ascendant. Those that fail to do so will continue to struggle with staff turnover, patient safety and patient experience issues, and poorer outcomes.

Ready to talk about transforming your workplace?

Paul DeChant, MD, MBA and Bruce D. Cummings, MPH, LFACHE are recognized experts in clinician burnout and the healthcare innovators behind Organizational Wellbeing Solutions.


bottom of page