We get it – all this talk of burnout can make you feel, well…burned out. You may be saying to yourself, “I’m already burned out and just don’t have the energy to take another survey.” Or perhaps you are thinking “I’m not burned out, thank you very much, so why should I take this survey?” Or even “I think I’m at risk for burnout but there is nothing I can do about it, so why bother with another survey that will likely not help me?”
Regardless of your reasoning or feelings about surveys, understanding the magnitude of the burnout problem among allergists is a top priority for the College. We want to take measures to help manage this problem for you, our members. To intervene, we have to know what we are up against. We have a 10-minute survey that will help define the scope of the problem among North American allergists-immunologists, but we need your help to make this effort successful.
We know more than 50% of all U.S. physicians are burned out, and national rates of physician depression, substance abuse and suicide are alarmingly high. Do those statistics apply to allergists practicing in the U.S. and Canada? We don’t know the answer yet, but if the audience reaction during last year’s Annual Meeting keynote session was an indication, practicing allergists are not immune to these problems.
To help quantify the degree of burnout among physician members who practice in the U.S. and Canada, the College Physician Well-Being Task Force has customized a validated online instrument called the Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey to create the College Physician Well-Being Survey. Obtaining a healthy sample size of our members is vital to enable us to accurately define the problem in our specialty.
The task force also plans to provide resources to address burnout. For example, the College Board of Regents has authorized funding for individualized confidential survey analysis so each of you who take the survey can receive a confidential report of your personal well-being. We’ve also created a closed online discussion forum using Facebook, and we encourage you to request to join the group. Finally, the Physician Well-Being Task Force has also begun plans to conduct a series of focus groups about burnout risk among allergists to be conducted at upcoming regional allergy meetings and at our Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston.
By now you may have noticed several emails from the College inviting you to take this anonymous survey, so to the 225 of you have already completed the survey, thank you and please bear with us. As for the rest of you, we have the all-clear for up to 1,500 of you to take the survey, so please take 10 minutes of your time to help us tackle this important problem. Remember, WE WANT YOU to take the burnout survey! Please click on the link only once, and finish the survey in one sitting. Include your email address to receive your own private, personalized burnout assessment after the survey results are finalized.
Stephen Tilles, MD, FACAAI
Gailen D. Marshall Jr., MD, PhD, FACAAI
Chair, Task Force on Physician Wellness