Latest news

Burnout in surgeons

A recent paper from China reported a study of 202 adult reconstruction surgeons (hip and knee specialists). The study showed that 85% of surgeons showed signs of burnout. Risk factors for burnout included poor sleep, being single, and being on call. They also looked at irritability in surgeons, and why they lost their temper during surgery. Risk factors for this included increasing seniority (!), and poor support from staff and equipment providers. They showed that irritability was made worse by burnout, which is hardly surprising.

Since I left the NHS, I have become a much calmer surgeon. I have very loyal and competent teams of nurses, doctors and support staff in the hospital in which I operate, and I don’t do on call. I don’t feel burnt out at all and I really look forward to my operating lists.

Human factors that affect performance are increasingly coming under the spotlight in the medical profession, and rightly so. We are all going to have to work for longer, and it is vital that we reduce the risk of burnout in the people in whose hands we place our lives.

Here’s a copy of the abstract from the Journal of Arthroplasty:

 

1. J Arthroplasty. 2018 Apr;33(4):1253-1257. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2017.10.049. Epub
2017 Nov 3.

Burnout Among Chinese Adult Reconstructive Surgeons: Incidence, Risk Factors, and
Relationship With Intraoperative Irritability.

Zheng H(1), Shao H(1), Zhou Y(1).

Author information: 
(1)Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Beijing Jishuitan Hospital, Fourth Clinical 
College of Peking University, Beijing, People's Republic of China.

BACKGROUND: Burnout is a major concern in human service occupations, mainly
characterizing in emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. There is very
limited research dealing with burnout in orthopedic surgeons. Exploring burnout
prevalence, risk factors, and intraoperative irritability-related incidences is
necessary to improve the quality of life for surgeons.
METHODS: The study population consisted of 202 registered adult reconstructive
doctors in China. Burnout was measured using a normalized translated version of
the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Service Survey. Demographics, professional
characteristics, and intraoperative irritability-related questions were also
collected by electronic questionnaires. Statistical analysis was performed using 
SPSS 22.0.
RESULTS: The overall rate of burnout was 85.1%. Variables significantly
associated with high emotional exhaustion scores included poor sleeping time per 
day (P = .008), more nights on call per week (P = .048), and absence of research 
(P = .014). For depersonalization, absence of marriage (P < .001) and more nights
on call per week (P < .001) were selected as risk factors. The incidence of
losing temper in operation is 58.9%, significantly higher in senior surgeons (P =
.001). Three major reasons for irritation during operations included delays by
companies providing operative devices, poor coordination of assistants, and slow 
movements of instrument nurses. Intraoperative irritability was found to be
significantly correlated with burnout, especially in emotional exhaustion.
Residents were the population having the least opportunities to lose temper in
operation.
CONCLUSION: Burnout is highly prevalent in Chinese adult reconstructive surgeons,
and it had some correlations with irritability. Further research is needed to
determine more risk factors and reduce intraoperative irritability-related
incidences.

Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.arth.2017.10.049 
PMID: 29239771 
Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

If you would like to discuss your hip treatment options with Jeremy Latham please get in touch…
For appointments & Enquiries
Jeremy Latham
Hip Surgeon


Tel:
02380 914483
Fax:
02380 914483
Make an enquiry
Types of treatments available at Latham Hip Surgery
  • Treatments
  • Hip Replacement

    Total Hip Replacement or THR is one of the most successful hip operations in orthopaedic surgery. Tens of thousands of hip replacements are performed each year…

    Click here to find out more
  • Hip Resurfacing

    Hip resurfacing was developed to treat painful arthritis in younger and active patients. It’s now an established technique, and the results are usually excellent in carefully selected patients…

    Click here to find out more
  • Revision Hip Surgery

    Hip replacement surgery can be life changing for those dealing with pain on a daily basis. Unfortunately, even a replacement hip can wear out…

    Click here to find out more
  • Hip Replacement

    Total Hip Replacement or THR is one of the most successful hip operations in orthopaedic surgery. Thousands of hip replacements are performed each year…

    Click here to find out more
  • Hip Resurfacing

    Hip resurfacing was developed to treat painful arthritis in younger and active patients. It’s a relatively new technique, but the results are usually excellent…

    Click here to find out more
  • Revision Hip Surgery

    Hip replacement surgery can be life changing for those dealing with pain on a daily basis. Unfortunately, even a replacement hip can wear out…

    Click here to find out more