Prevalence of burnout among musculoskeletal radiologists

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit


Publication Date




Burnout is a job-related psychological syndrome with three aspects: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and perceived lack of personal accomplishment. Burnout is associated with deleterious effects on both workers and their work. When burnout affects physicians, their well-being, longevity, and care of patients are at risk. Recent studies concerning physician burnout treat specialists such as radiologists as one group. We studied burnout in musculoskeletal (MSK) subspecialist radiologists.

Materials and methods

An institutional review board exemption was obtained. Society of Skeletal Radiology members received invitations to an anonymous survey that included questions from the Maslach Burnout Inventory ™ (MBI) measuring all three aspects of burnout. The response rate was 36.4% (433/1190).


The prevalence of emotional exhaustion was 61.7% (255/413), of depersonalization 53.3% (219/411), and of perceived lack of personal accomplishment 39.6% (161/407). Only 19.5% (79/405) of MSK radiologists reported no burnout, while 80.5% (326/405) reported burnout along one or more dimensions. For all three dimensions, the prevalence was higher and the mean severity was worse for private practice compared with academic practice. The prevalence of burnout was affected more by practice setting than by gender. Burnout prevalence and severity also varied systematically with years since completion of training.


Among MSK radiologists, we found a much higher prevalence and greater severity of burnout than has been previously reported for radiologists and other physicians. There were differences in prevalence and severity of burnout among practice settings, genders, and longevity cohorts.


This article was originally published in Skeletal Radiology. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


Skeletal Radiology


© ISS 2017