Addressing burnout syndrome from a critical care specialty organization perspective

Kathryn L. Cochran, Kathleen Doo, Allison Squires, Tina Shah, Seppo Rinne, Meredith Mealer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Health care specialty organizations are an important resource for their membership; however, it is not clear how specialty societies should approach combating stress and burnout on an organizational scale. Objective:To understand the prevalence of burnout syndrome in AmericanThoracic Society members, identify specialty-specific risk factors, and generate strategies for health care societies to combat burnout. Methods: Cross-sectional, mixed-methods survey in a sample of 2018 AmericanThoracic Society International Conference attendees to assess levels of burnout syndrome, work satisfaction, and stress. Results: Of the 130 respondents, 69% reported high stress, 38% met burnout criteria, and 20% confirmed chaotic work environments. Significant associations included sex and stress level; clinical time and at-home electronic health record work; and US practice and at-home electronic health record work. There were no significant associations between burnout syndrome and the selected demographics. Participants indicated patient care as the most meaningful aspect of work, whereas the highest contributors to burnout were workload and electronic health record documentation. Importantly, most respondents were unaware of available resources for burnout. Conclusions: Health care specialty societies have access to each level of the health system, creating an opportunity to monitor trends, disseminate resources, and influence the direction of efforts to reduce workplace stress and enhance clinician well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-166
Number of pages9
JournalAACN Advanced Critical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Job satisfaction
  • Occupational stress
  • Professional burnout

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care


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