State of medicine

Nearly half of physicians surveyed say they’re burned out in 2024

Medscape survey reveals this year’s high burnout rate is lower than last year, but still a significant increase from before the pandemic.

Nearly half of physicians report experiencing burnout in 2024, according to Medscape’s 2024 physician burnout and depression report. The 49% burnout rate is a reduction from last year, when 53% of physicians reported burnout. However, this year’s rate is significantly higher than it was before the pandemic—44% of surveyed physicians reported burnout in 2019.

To create the report, Medscape surveyed over 9,200 physicians of different ages across 29-plus specialties. Below are some highlights from the report.

  • The specialties with the highest rates of burnout include emergency medicine (63%), OB-GYN (53%), oncology (53%), pediatrics (51%) and family medicine (51%).
  • The specialties reporting the lowest rates of burnout include plastic surgery (37%), ophthalmology (39%), psychiatry (39%), pathology (41%) and otolaryngology (43%).
  • The things contributing most to physicians’ burnout, respondents noted, include bureaucratic tasks such as charting and paperwork (62%), too many hours at work (41%) and lack of respect from employers, colleagues or staff (40%).
  • Physicians were most likely to report deploying the following coping mechanisms to deal with burnout: exercise (52%), talking with family and friends (49%), getting more sleep (41%), spending time alone (39%) and playing or listening to music (37%).
  • The workplace measures physicians say would most alleviate burnout include increased compensation (48%), adding support staff (47%) and more flexible work schedules (46%).

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