The Surgeon’s Burnout: How to Deal with It

  • Bellal JosephEmail author
  • Tahereh Orouji Jokar


Inherent idealistic nature of surgical disciplines demands exclusive dedication from surgeons to provide optimal patient care, but doing so puts them at significant risk for personal and continuous professional stresses, which may result in burnout. Burnout is a gradual process and often heralded with warning signs or red flags, which can result in physical, behavioral, and emotional symptoms. Work-related stressors are often underestimated and considered a trivial part of emotional and physical well-being. Literature demonstrates that undetermined stress and anxiety may lead to burnout. Burnout can lead to impaired technical performance, medical errors, physical and mental health problems, increasing incidence of divorce, negative work attitude, decreased professional satisfaction, hopelessness and helplessness, detachment, isolation, and increased risk of depression and suicide. Therefore, recognizing these warning signs or red flags is extremely crucial. Individual surgeons at personal level and the organizations at institutional level should recognize the early symptoms of burnout, implement coping strategies, and maintain a work-life balance for the well-being of surgeons.


Stress Burnout Hopelessness and helplessness Detachment Isolation Depression Suicide 



There are no identifiable conflicts of interests to report.

The authors have no financial or proprietary interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Arizona Medical CenterTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Arizona Medical CenterTucsonUSA

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