Factors associated with career satisfaction and burnout among US neurosurgeons: Results of a nationwide survey

Joseph H. McAbee, Brian T. Ragel, Shirley McCartney, G. Morgan Jones, L. Madison Michael, Michael DeCuypere, Joseph S. Cheng, Frederick A. Boop, Paul Klimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Object The object of this study was to identify and quantify predictors of burnout and career satisfaction among US neurosurgeons. Methods All US members (3247) of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) were invited to participate in a survey between September and December 2012. Responses were evaluated through univariate analysis. Factors independently associated with burnout and career satisfaction were determined using multivariable logistic regression. Subgroup analysis of academic and nonacademic neurosurgeons was performed as well. Results The survey response rate was 24% (783 members). The majority of respondents were male, 40-60 years old, in a stable relationship, with children, working in a group or university practice, and trained in a subspecialty. More than 80% of respondents reported being at least somewhat satisfied with their career, and 70% would choose a career in neurosurgery again; however, only 26% of neurosurgeons believed their professional lives would improve in the future, and 52% believed it would worsen. The overall burnout rate was 56.7%. Factors independently associated with both burnout and career satisfaction included achieving a balance between work and life outside the hospital (burnout OR 0.45, satisfaction OR 10.0) and anxiety over future earnings and/or health care reform (burnout OR 1.96, satisfaction OR 0.32). While the burnout rate for nonacademic neurosurgeons (62.9%) was higher than that for academic neurosurgeons (47.7%), academicians who had practiced for over 20 years were less likely to be satisfied with their careers. Conclusions The rates of burnout and career satisfaction were both high in this survey study of US neurosurgeons. The negative effects of burnout on the lives of surgeons, patients, and their families require further study and probably necessitate the development of interventional programs at local, regional, and even national levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-173
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Volume123
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2015

Keywords

  • Burnout
  • Career
  • Health care reform
  • Neurosurgery
  • Satisfaction
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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    McAbee, J. H., Ragel, B. T., McCartney, S., Jones, G. M., Michael, L. M., DeCuypere, M., Cheng, J. S., Boop, F. A., & Klimo, P. (2015). Factors associated with career satisfaction and burnout among US neurosurgeons: Results of a nationwide survey. Journal of neurosurgery, 123(1), 161-173. https://doi.org/10.3171/2014.12.JNS141348