Burnout Lower for Family Physicians Able to Address Patients’ Social Needs

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Data analyzed from the American Board of Family Medicine’s (ABFM) 2016 Family Medicine Certification practice demographic questionnaire found family physicians with a high perception of their clinic’s capacity to meet patients’ social needs were less likely to report burnout.

Data analyzed from the American Board of Family Medicine’s (ABFM) 2016 Family Medicine Certification practice demographic questionnaire found family physicians with a high perception of their clinic’s capacity to meet patients’ social needs were less likely to report burnout.

The study, conducted by the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and the ABFM, investigated the association between clinic capacity to address social needs and burnout among family physicians. Twenty-seven percent of respondents reported symptoms of burn out, similar to another recent study. Burnout risk factors reported include electronic health record (EHR) burden, work stress, poor team efficiency, and poor or misaligned clinical leadership.

Burnout refers to the psychological exhaustion resulting from long-term stress, and it puts physicians at risk for poor mental health, decreased productivity, and abandonment of career medicine.

The American Board of Family Medicine has developed the Population Health Assessment Engine (PHATE) to help its Diplomates better understand their patients’ social risks and to support addressing their social needs (http://primeregistry.org/phate/).

The complete Article Physician Burnout and Higher Clinic Capacity to Address Patients' Social Needs may be found at https://www.jabfm.org/content/32/1/69?etoc=

Inquiries and correspondence should be addressed to Lars E. Peterson, MD, PhD, American Board of Family Medicine, 1648 McGrathiana Parkway, Suite 550, Lexington, KY 40511-1247; email: lpeterson(at)theabfm(dot)org.

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Jane Ireland

Jane Ireland
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