Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 373–374 | Cite as

Effect of emergency physician burnout on patient waiting times

  • Richard Everard WolfeEmail author
  • Leon Dahomey Sanchez

In the early years of the specialty in the 1970s, burnout was used as a reason to avoid a career in Emergency Medicine. The pioneers of our specialty argued that this was due to lack of formal training, and that the problem would resolve with specialized education. The rapid spread of accredited residency programs and the creation of academic departments should thus have decreased the rate of burnout of providers. Yet, even though emergency physicians find the work life balance more satisfying, we continue to lead other specialties in experiencing symptoms and signs of burnout [1].

Burnout has been defined as the prolonged response to chronic emotional and professional stressors on the job defined by three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a sense of reduced personal accomplishment. The first major study across all specialties was performed in 2012, and showed that physicians had higher rates of dissatisfaction than other American workers, and were at a higher...


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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© SIMI 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA

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