The impact of physician burnout on clinical and academic productivity of gynecologic oncologists: A decision analysis

Academic Article


  • Objective Physician burnout is associated with mental illness, alcohol abuse, and job dissatisfaction. Our objective was to estimate the impact of burnout on productivity of gynecologic oncologists during the first half of their career. Methods A decision model evaluated the impact of burnout on total relative value (RVU) production during the first 15 years of practice for gynecologic oncologists entering the workforce from 2011 to 2015. The SGO practice survey provided physician demographics and mean annual RVUs. Published data were used to estimate probability of burnout for male and female gynecologic oncologists, and the impact of depression, alcohol abuse, and early retirement. Academic productivity was defined as annual PubMed publications since finishing fellowship. Results Without burnout, RVU production for the cohort of 250 gynecologic oncologists was 26.2 million (M) RVUs over 15 years. With burnout, RVU production decreased by 1.6 M (5.9% decrease). Disproportionate rates of burnout among females resulted in 1.1 M lost RVUs for females vs. 488 K for males. Academic production without burnout was estimated at 9277 publications for the cohort. Burnout resulted in 1383 estimated fewer publications over 15 years (14.9%). Conclusions The impact of burnout on clinical and academic productivity is substantial across all specialties. As health care systems struggle with human resource shortages, this study highlights the need for effective burnout prevention and wellness programs for gynecologic oncologists. Unless significant resources are designated to wellness programs, burnout will increasingly affect the care of our patients and the advancement of our field.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Turner TB; Dilley SE; Smith HJ; Huh WK; Modesitt SC; Rose SL; Rice LW; Fowler JM; Straughn JM
  • Start Page

  • 642
  • End Page

  • 646
  • Volume

  • 146
  • Issue

  • 3