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Measuring Physician Wellness

October 6 2019 - There is growing concern over burned-out, stressed-out workforces with research last year indicating that almost a third of Canadian physicians reported high levels of burnout.

Now the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) have highlighted the pressures on Canadian physicians. Physician health and wellness is one of CMA's priorities and the CMA report Physician Health and Wellness in Canada: Connecting behaviours and occupational stressors to psychological outcomes shows a strong relationship between occupational indicators and:

  • physician burnout
  • depression, and
  • personal well-being

Main findings in the new research were:

  • Resources - Half of survey respondents indicated dissatisfaction with the efficiency and resources available in their clinical environment. This factor is known as a significant driver of burnout.
  • Work-life balance - Two in five of those surveyed were dissatisfied with this, again strongly linked to high levels of burnout.
  • Career - respondents indicated low collegiality in the workplace and dissatisfaction with their overall career in medicine.
  • Presenteeism - More than one in five went to work despite being sick or distressed in the previous 12 months.

According to Dr. Sandy Buchman, CMA President:

"This research is important because it allows for identifying actional areas to target in order to better support physician health and wellness."

"A healthy workforce is a shared responsibility. We all have a role to play because ultimately, it's about creating the right environment for physicians to do what they do best: deliver patient care."

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