Burnout Among Osteopathic Otolaryngology Residents: Identification During Formative Training Years

Morgan G. Yost, DO; Jane C. Johnson, MA; Michael M. Johns, MD; and Kelly D. Burchett, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: November 9, 2013

Accepted: April 14, 2014

Published: August 1, 2014

J Osteopath Med; 114(8): 632-641

Context: Studies of burnout among allopathic physicians have shown many deleterious effects for both physicians and patients. To our knowledge, no studies have quantified burnout among osteopathic physicians.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of burnout, mentoring, and resident training satisfaction among US osteopathic otolaryngology residents compared with previously published data for allopathic otolaryngology residents.

Methods: A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based, electronic survey of US osteopathic otolaryngology residents was conducted. Residents were surveyed about demographic information, personal and professional life satisfaction, professional stressors, burnout (assessed with the Maslach Burnout Inventory–Human Services Survey), and mentor-resident interactions. Burnout was measured based on levels of emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalization (DP), and low personal accomplishment (PA). Results were compared with previously published data for allopathic otolaryngology residents.

Results: Of the 102 osteopathic residents contacted, 48 (47%) responded and 47 provided complete responses in some categories. Burnout rates were low in 11 respondents (23%), moderate in 31 (66%), and high in 5 (11%), compared with published rates of 14%, 76%, and 10%, respectively, for allopathic residents (P=.18). The rates of EE and DP did not differ significantly from published data, but levels of PA were higher in osteopathic residents (P=.03). Sleep hours per night were significantly higher in osteopathic than in allopathic residents (mean, 6.6 vs 6.2; P=.04), and work hours per week were significantly lower (mean, 62 vs 71; P<.001). Increased EE scores were negatively associated with hours of sleep (ρ=−0.42, P=.003). Increased influence from a mentor was associated with decreased levels of burnout for all 3 components (EE: ρ=−0.54, P=.002; DP: ρ=−0.59, P<.001; PA: ρ=0.44, P=.02).

Conclusions: To our knowledge, the current study is the first to quantify burnout among osteopathic residents, and our findings suggest that osteopathic residents have lower rates of burnout than allopathic residents. Osteopathic residents reported lower rates of low PA, increased hours of sleep, and decreased overall work hours. Further study of the relationship between mentoring and decreased burnout is needed.

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