Importance of Physician Wellness in Battling Burnout

  • Roschanak MossabebEmail author
  • Kevin Sowti
Physician Wellness and Burnout (J Hackworth and K Jerardi, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Physician Wellness and Burnout


Purpose of review

Recently, much attention has been given to physician well-being and wellness programs in order to decrease physician burnout. Burnout has been known to emerge during the early years of medical training and has been reported among a large proportion of medical students. Burnout not only affects the well-being of medical providers, but also the delivery of safe and high-quality patient care. The goal of this article is to review the literature and examine the evidence of various studies and physician wellness programs and their effects on physician well-being.

Recent findings

Physician burnout is a pervasive problem and is a cause for concern. Burnout is characterized as emotional exhaustion, depersonalization (treating patients as objects), and low sense of accomplishment. Consequences of physician burnout are poor quality of care delivered to patients, decreased patient satisfaction, increased risk for medical errors, and lawsuits. Physician burnout may also negatively impact the individual’s health, interpersonal relationships with family, and loved ones, and can also lead to substance abuse and mental health challenges.


About one-third to one-half of physicians experience burnout. Burnout can alter the physician-patient relationship and the quality of care physicians provide. The primary purpose of this report is to shift the focus from burnout to physician preventive health and wellness strategies.


Burnout Wellness Yoga Mindfulness meditation Holistic practice 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

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

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Division of NeonatologySt. Christopher’s Hospital for ChildrenPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Drexel University College of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Temple University HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Penn Medicine, Section of Hospital MedicineChester County HospitalWest ChesterUSA

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