Burnout and work-work imbalance in radiology- wicked problems on a global scale. A baseline pre-COVID-19 survey of US neuroradiologists compared to international radiologists and adjacent staff

James Y. Chen, Srinivasan Vedantham, Frank J. Lexa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Worldwide, radiologists are experiencing increasing clinical workloads with associated increased burnout. This paper will review burnout definitions, prevalence, and causes. We will also share data from a survey of US neuroradiologists as an example of the impact of work-work imbalances from clinical overload. This article examines the impact on several key job indicators and upon the quality of the neuroradiology work environment in one nation. Finally, we will review proposals for ameliorating and preventing radiologist burnout. Method: A survey was sent to members of the American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) practicing in the US. Selected measures included workhours and volume, burnout symptoms, subjectively reported errors, participation in non-clinical activities, perceived interpretation quality, results communication, and consideration of early retirement. Results: Survey respondents (n = 412) included 57.5% with teaching responsibilities. Cutbacks in teaching, mentoring, research and/or practice building were reported by 86.2% of respondents. Subjective errors were reported as occurring sometimes or more frequently in the majority of respondents (56.9%) and were increased with faster than optimal speeds of interpretation (P < 0.001) and signing (P < 0.001). At least one burnout measure was reported by 85.2% of respondents. Conclusions: Increasing clinical demands in conjunction with a more challenging work environment impacts the ability of radiologists to perform core non-interpretive duties that are critical for success in both private and academic practice and is associated with burnout symptoms and adverse effects on quality. While this survey does not prove causation, the trends and findings are concerning and warrant both close monitoring and appropriate intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110153
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Burn out
  • Clinical volume
  • Errors
  • Survey
  • Value
  • Work environment
  • Work force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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