(HealthDay News) — About one-third of gynecologic oncologists experience burnout, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Kellie S. Rath, MD, from Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues determined the burnout rate among gynecologic oncologists. Three hundred sixty-nine members of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology responded to a survey which included 76 items measuring burnout, psychosocial distress, career satisfaction, and quality of life.

The researchers found that 30% of the physicians scored high for emotional exhaustion, and 10 and 11%, respectively, scored high for depersonalization and low for personal accomplishments. Thirty-two percent of physicians scored above clinical cut-offs indicative of burnout. Overall, 33, 13, 15, and 34%, respectively, screened positive for depression, endorsed a history of suicidal ideation, screened positive for alcohol abuse, and reported impaired quality of life. However, 70% reported high levels of personal accomplishment, 89% would enter medicine again, and 61% would encourage their child to enter medicine. High burnout scores correlated with lower likelihood of reporting that they would become a physician again and encouraging a child to enter medicine, and with higher likelihood of screening positive for depression, alcohol abuse, suicidal ideation, and impaired quality of life.

“Burnout is a significant problem associated with psychosocial distress and lower levels of career satisfaction in gynecologic oncologists,” the authors write.

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