Emotional Wellness of Current Musculoskeletal Radiology Fellows

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit


Publication Date



Rationale and Objectives

Burnout is a psychological syndrome composed of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and sense of lack of personal accomplishment, as a result of prolonged occupational stress. The purpose of our study was to determine the prevalence of burnout among current musculoskeletal radiology fellows and to explore causes of emotional stress.

Materials and Methods

A 24-item survey was constructed on SurveyMonkey using the Maslach Burnout Inventory. We identified 82 musculoskeletal radiology fellowship programs. We recruited subjects indirectly through the program director or equivalent.


Fifty-eight respondents (48 male, 10 female) identified themselves as current musculoskeletal radiology fellows and completed the survey. Comparison of the weighted subscale means in our data to the Maslach normative subscale thresholds for medical occupations indicates that musculoskeletal radiology fellows report relatively high levels of burnout with regard to lack of personal accomplishment and depersonalization, whereas emotional exhaustion levels in our sample are within the average range reported by Maslach. Although male musculoskeletal radiology fellows experience relatively high levels in two of the three dimensions of burnout (depersonalization and personal accomplishment), female musculoskeletal radiology fellows experience relatively high burnout across all three dimensions. Job market-related stress and the effort required providing care for dependents significantly affect personal accomplishment. Conversely, imbalances in the work-life relationship and feelings of powerlessness are significantly associated with depersonalization and emotional exhaustion.


Musculoskeletal radiology fellows report relatively high levels of burnout. Because the consequences of burnout can be severe, early identification and appropriate intervention should be a priority.


This article was originally published in Academic 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.


Academic Radiology


© 2017 The Association of University Radiologists.