Burnout is inevitable in medicine, and without adequate support and resources, it can result in major consequences such as substance abuse, reckless behavior, and strained personal and professional relationships. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, the rates of radiology burnout are escalating while reports of job satisfaction are on the decline. The report’s researchers have addressed the top most common factors that contribute to radiologist burnout:
1. Sufficient staffing. Maintaining balanced workloads for radiologists requires having an adequate number of staff. Study leader Jay A. Harolds, MD, and his team recommend implementing preventative protocol in the event that work responsibilities outpace the number of staff members. They suggest designating one radiologist to work more hours for extra pay instead of demanding all radiologists work longer.
2. “Reduce prolonged stress.” Physicians who consistently work in high-stress situations are 15 times more likely to suffer from burnout symptoms than those who work in more controlled environments. The researchers encourage administrations to slowly guide a new radiologist into their responsibilities instead of forcing them to learn new skills in a short amount of time. “When organizations and supervisors are fair and committed to individual employees, burnout is less, turnover is less, and employee commitment to the organization is greater,” wrote the researchers.
3. “Restore a sense of control.” Identifying and improving basic flaws in systems can go a long way. By inviting radiologists to speak up about their concerns regarding equipment, service, or supervision, their workplace satisfaction will inevitably improve. “Giving radiologists the opportunity to have some control over their work lives by asking them to identify areas of dissatisfaction, and addressing these problems, was found to be an inexpensive and very helpful strategy for improving morale,” they wrote.