Well-Being Parameters and Intention to Leave Current Institution among Academic Physicians

Jennifer A. Ligibel, Nicolette Goularte, Jennifer I. Berliner, Steven B. Bird, Chantal M.L.R. Brazeau, Susannah G. Rowe, Miriam T. Stewart, Mickey T. Trockel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: Physician turnover interrupts care delivery and creates health care system financial burden. Objective: To describe the prevalence of burnout, professional fulfillment, and intention to leave (ITL) among physicians at academic-affiliated health care systems and identify institutional and individual factors associated with ITL. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study administered a survey to 37 511 attending-level medical specialists at 15 academic medical institutions participating in the Healthcare Professional Well-Being Academic Consortium. Data were collected from October 2019 to July 2021. Statistical analysis was performed from May 2022 to March 2023. Exposures: Hypothesized institutional and individual determinants of occupational well-being. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was ITL, defined as having at least a moderate intention (a score of 2 on a 0-4 scale) to leave one's institution within the next 2 years. Additional outcomes included burnout and professional fulfillment, defined using published Professional Fulfillment Index cut points. Results: Of 18719 academic physician survey respondents (8381 [44.8%] male; 2388 [12.8%] Asian, 10599 [56.6%] White, 1039 [5.6%] other race, 4693 [25.1%] unknown race; 294 [1.6%] Hispanic or Latina/Latino/Latinx), 6903 of 18217 (37.9%) met criteria for burnout and 7301 of 18571 (39.3%) for professional fulfillment; 5177 of 15890 (32.6%) reported moderate or greater ITL. Burnout, professional fulfillment, and ITL varied across specialties. After adjusting for demographics, each 1-point increase (range 0-10) in burnout was directly associated with ITL (odds ratio [OR], 1.52 [95% CI, 1.49-1.55])c, and each 1-point increase in professional fulfillment was inversely associated with ITL (OR, 0.64 [95% CI, 0.63-0.65]). After adjusting for demographics, burnout, and professional fulfillment, each 1-point increase (range 0-10) in supportive leadership behaviors (OR, 0.83 [95% CI, 0.82-0.84]), peer support (OR, 0.93 [95% CI, 0.91-0.95]), personal-organizational values alignment (OR, 0.81 [95% CI, 0.80-0.82]), perceived gratitude (OR, 0.95 [95% CI, 0.92-0.97]), COVID-19 organizational support (OR, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.85-0.91]), and electronic health record helpfulness (OR, 0.95 [95% CI, 0.93-0.97]) were inversely associated with ITL, whereas each 1-point increase (range 0-10) in depression (OR, 1.08 [95% CI, 1.05-1.10]) and negative impact of work on personal relationships (OR, 1.09 [1.07-1.11]) were directly associated with ITL. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study of academic physicians, 32.6% indicated moderate or higher ITL within 2 years. Burnout, lack of professional fulfillment, and other well-being factors were associated with ITL, suggesting the need for a comprehensive approach to reduce physician turnover..

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)E2347894
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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