Study Finds 79% of Primary Care Docs Are Burned Out

A survey of U.S.-based physicians found that most, including 79% of primary care physicians (PCP), report experiencing burnout at some level. Conducted in June 2019, the study by InCrowd found that 68% of physicians across all specialties are dealing with burnout.

This is higher than the 43.9% found in an American Academy of Family Physicians study released in March but lower than the 80% found in the biennial survey done by The Physicians Foundation/Merritt Hawkins.

InCrowd’s findings include:

  • 79% of PCPs experienced burnout compared with 57% of specialists
  • Younger physicians experience the highest burnout rate, with doctors in their 30s and 40s reporting the highest rates of burnout (74%)
  • 34% of physicians would not recommend the profession to young family members, with 32% saying it’s not worth the sacrifices
  • Those who say their facilities are effectively addressing physician burnout cite workplace initiatives that improve workflow (46%), provide flexible schedules (45%), and support wellness (41%)
  • Asked what facilities can do to address burnout, respondents said increased support staffing (66%), mandatory vacation time or half days (57%), and reduced patient volume (56%) would help

“The alarming persistence of physician burnout over the years and across multiple studies unfortunately demonstrates that we have not yet turned the tide on this problematic issue,” said Diane Hayes, PhD, co-founder and president of InCrowd, in a release. “Since we last looked at this in 2016, there really haven’t been any notable improvements. The healthcare industry would benefit from refining and expanding current initiatives to assure adequate staffing levels needed to deliver the quality care patients deserve.”

InCrowd used a four-question survey to poll 612 physicians, 320 PCPs and 319 specialists.