Urologist burnout: Frequency, causes, and potential solutions to an unspoken entity

Julie Franc-Guimond, Brian McNeil, Steven M. Schlossberg, Amanda C. North, Alp Sener


Physician burnout has been linked to decreased job performance, increased medical errors, interpersonal conflicts, and depression. Recent multispecialty studies suggest that urologists have higher rates (up to 63.6%) of burnout compared to physicians in other specialties; however, these reports were limited by low sample sizes.1 We aimed to evaluate the prevalence of urologist burnout, verify risk factors, and recommend preventative measures and solutions for colleagues at risk or suffering from burnout. Urologist burnout is a true entity that transcends level of training and nationality. Its roots appear to be deep-seated in our tireless efforts to strive for excellence in care for our patients, our growing academic and research pursuits, and surmounting administrative responsibilities; these virtues, which are regarded as the foundations of our career successes, are often obtained at the expense of personal health and wellbeing, as well as family sacrifice. Various other medical societies have become increasingly vocal about the issue of physician burnout and have actively initiated successful strategies to minimize its impact on their members. As an organization with a strong national presence, the Canadian Urological Association (CUA) should promote tools to prevent and interventions to assist those at risk for and suffering from burnout. Increased awareness in the general medical community has led to strategies and tools that can help prevent, identify, or assist physicians in their recovery from burnout. The CUA should develop and facilitate access to information and offer comprehensive support for urologists struggling with burnout.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.4668