Broader Scope of Practice Linked to Lower Rates of Burnout

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Early-career family physicians who practice inpatient medicine or obstetrics have reduced odds of burnout.
Early-career family physicians who practice inpatient medicine or obstetrics have reduced odds of burnout.

HealthDay News — Early-career family physicians who practice inpatient medicine or obstetrics have reduced odds of burnout, according to a study published in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Amanda K.H. Weidner, M.P.H., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of data from 1,617 2016 National Family Medicine Graduate Survey respondents who provided outpatient continuity care to examine the correlation between family physician scope of practice and self-reported burnout.

The researchers found that 42 percent of respondents reported feeling work-related burnout once a week or more. In bivariate analysis, elements of scope of practice associated with higher burnout rates included providing more procedures/clinical content areas (mean procedures/clinical areas: 7.49 versus 7.02) and working in more settings than the principal practice site (one or more additional settings: 57.6 versus 48.4 percent), specifically, in the hospital (31.4 versus 24.2 percent) and patient homes (3.3 versus 1.5 percent). Practicing inpatient medicine and practicing obstetrics were significantly associated with lower odds of burnout in adjusted analyses (odds ratio, 0.7 and 0.64, respectively).

"Our findings suggest that comprehensiveness is associated with less burnout, which is critical in the context of improving access to good-quality, affordable care while maintaining physician wellness," the authors write.

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