Review| Volume 132, ISSUE 5, P556-563, May 2019

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Beyond Burnout: A Physician Wellness Hierarchy Designed to Prioritize Interventions at the Systems Level

Published:December 13, 2018DOI:


      Burnout has been implicated in higher physician turnover, reduced patient satisfaction, and worsened safety, but understanding the degree of burnout in a given physician or team does not direct leaders to solutions. The model proposed integrates a long list of variables that may ameliorate burnout into a prioritized, easy-to-understand hierarchy. Modified from Maslow's hierarchy, the model directs leaders to address physicians’ basic physical and mental health needs first; patient and physician physical safety second; and then address higher-order needs, including respect from colleagues, patients, processes, and the electronic health record; appreciation and connection; and finally, time and resources to heal patients and contribute to the greater good. Assessments based on this model will help leaders prioritize interventions and improve physician wellness.


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