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Comment & Response
February 5, 2019

Physician Burnout

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Bellingham
JAMA. 2019;321(5):513-514. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.19000

To the Editor In their Editorial on physician burnout, Drs Schwenk and Gold1 missed an opportunity to enhance efforts to address the burnout problem. They called for increased research into burnout to better define its scope and characteristics.

However, instead of advocating for reduction of stigma and increasing clinical and educational services to colleagues exhibiting burnout symptoms, they seemed to discourage these efforts by stating “The medical profession has taken a self-reported complaint of unhappiness and dissatisfaction and turned it into a call for action.” Given the association of burnout with personal pain, job dysfunction, and patient harm, of which there is clear evidence,2,3 a call for action would be an appropriate response.