National Academy Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience Launches New Resource Hub
Burnout is a syndrome characterized by a high degree of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization (i.e. cynicism) and a low sense of personal accomplishment at work. Burnout is nearly twice as prevalent among physicians as compared to US workers in other fields and US nurses report similarly high levels of burnout and emotional exhaustion. Medical trainees also experience a high prevalence of burnout and depression as compared to rates of age-similar individuals pursuing other careers.
Clinician burnout can have serious, wide-ranging consequences, from reduced job performance to—in the most extreme cases—medical error and clinician suicide. The ramifications of clinician burnout also extend to patients in measureable ways. One study involving US surgeons found burnout to be an independent predictor of reporting a recent major medical error and average burnout levels among hospital nurses are independent predictors of health care-associated infection.
Combating clinician burnout requires sustained attention and action at the organizational, state, and national levels. Leadership is instrumental in improving the environments within which clinicians practice. Leaders in medicine around the country have a responsibility to build a culture that supports clinician well-being by developing and implementing programs that address the drivers of burnout and providing resources to promote resilience and self-care.
The National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience is a network of more than 50 organizations committed to reversing trends in clinician burnout. Goals for the Action Collaborative include: (1) Improve baseline understanding of challenges to clinician well-being; (2) Raise the visibility of clinician stress and burnout; and (3) Elevate evidence-based, multidisciplinary solutions that will improve patient care by caring for the caregiver.