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Healthgrades for ProfessionalsThe Most and Least Burned Out Physicians by Specialty

Rising Burnout Among Physicians: A Closer Look at the Specialties

Physician burnout continues to rise despite the world returning to normalcy after two years of pandemic. The emotional and physical wellbeing of more than 9,000 physicians was surveyed, revealing that 53% of them feel burned out, an increase from 47% in the prior survey.

Key Points

  • Emergency medicine physicians reported the largest rates of burnout among specialties.
  • Women physicians report significantly higher rates of burnout than their male counterparts.
  • The top factors driving burnout are too many bureaucratic tasks, like paperwork and charting, cited by 61% of survey respondents.
  • Lack of respect from employers, colleagues or staff was the second highest source of burnout for 38% of participants.
  • Most burned-out specialties include emergency medicine (65%), internal medicine (60%), pediatrics (59%), OBGYN (58%), and infectious disease (51%).
  • Least burned-out specialties include public health and preventive medicine (37%), pathology (39%), cardiology (43%), nephrology (43%), and orthopedics (45%).

According to a study published in JAMA Network Open in 2020, physician burnout costs the US healthcare system approximately $4.6 billion a year.

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