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Nearly Two-Thirds of Canadian Cardiac Physicians Burned Out

FRIDAY, Jan. 22, 2021 -- Physicians at a Canadian cardiovascular center report higher levels of prepandemic burnout than U.S. colleagues, according to a study published online Jan. 11 in CMAJ Open.

Barry Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., from the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre in Toronto, and colleagues used a survey to measure the prevalence of burnout and distress among physicians in a cardiovascular center of a quaternary hospital network in Canada and compared these results to those for physicians at academic health science centers in the United States.

The researchers found that of the 127 respondents, 65.4 percent reported burnout in the previous month and 53.5 percent reported emotional problems. More than half of respondents (54.3 percent) had a Well-Being Index (WBI) score of 3 or higher. A WBI score of 3 or higher was more likely if a respondent perceived insufficient staffing levels or unfair treatment or was an anesthesiologist. Compared with 21,594 U.S. physicians, Canadian respondents had a higher mean WBI score and reported a higher prevalence of burnout.

"Burnout also has a negative impact on the care we provide," Rubin said in a statement. "It is associated with an increased incidence of medical errors, serious safety events, readmission to hospital, worse patient outcomes, and in some situations even increased patient mortality. Clinician burnout is a public health crisis that we must address now."

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