GPs are top specialty facing burnout

Strategies to tackle emotional exhaustion are needed to help those in primary care, shows US study

GPs are more likely to be facing burnout than peers in other specialties, as are doctors in the first decade of their careers, a US study suggests.

Compared with doctors in other specialties, primary care doctors have a 42% higher risk of being classified as having burnout, the authors report in JAMA Network Open.

Researchers analysed survey results taken over a month in 2017 from nearly 1900 doctors, including 250 GPs, working at Massachusetts General Hospital and 15 affiliated primary health care practices in Boston.

Burnout was assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory, which scores doctors for emotional exhaustion, cynicism and professional efficacy.

Some 58% of the respondents had high levels of emotional exhaustion, 51% had high levels of cynicism, while 20% reported having low professional efficacy.

These results meant that nearly half (45.6%) of the doctors were