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Tetzlaff ED , Hylton HM , DeMora L , Ruth K , Wong YN
National Study of Burnout and Career Satisfaction Among Physician Assistants in Oncology: Implications for Team-Based Care
J Oncol Pract. 2018 Jan;14(1) :e11-e22
PMID: 29190209    PMCID: PMC6528779    URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29190209
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PURPOSE: A high rate of burnout has been reported in oncology physicians. Physician assistants (PAs) may also face similar risks of burnout. We sought to measure the personal and professional characteristics associated with burnout and career satisfaction and the potential impact on the oncology PA workforce. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: A national survey of PAs in oncology was completed by using the Maslach Burnout Inventory from September 2015 to January 2016. RESULTS: In all, 855 PAs were contacted and 250 submitted complete surveys (response rate, 29.2%). Respondents were representative of PAs in oncology with a mean age of 41.8 years, females (88.8%), academic practice (55.2%), urban location (61.2%), outpatient (74.4%), medical oncology (75.2%), worked 41 to 50 hours per week (52.8%), and had a mean of 9.6 years as a PA in oncology. Burnout was reported in 34.8% of PAs, 30.4% reported high emotional exhaustion, 17.6% reported high depersonalization, and 19.6% reported a low sense of personal accomplishment. In multivariable analysis, age, time spent on indirect patient care, oncology subspecialty, and relationship with collaborating physician were factors associated with burnout. Career and specialty satisfaction was high (86.4% and 88.8%, respectively). In the next 2 years, only 3.6% of PAs plan to pursue a different career or specialty and only 2.0% plan to retire. CONCLUSION: Despite high career and specialty satisfaction, burnout is reported in one third of PAs in oncology. Further exploration of the relationship between PAs and collaborating physicians may provide insight on methods to decrease burnout. Negligible short-term attrition of the current oncology PA workforce is anticipated.
1935-469x Tetzlaff, Eric Daniel Hylton, Heather Marie DeMora, Lyudmila Ruth, Karen Wong, Yu-Ning Journal Article United States P30 CA006927/CA/NCI NIH HHS/ Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't J Oncol Pract. 2018 Jan;14(1):e11-e22. doi: 10.1200/JOP.2017.025544. Epub 2017 Nov 30.