Addressing Potential Causes of Burnout Through Productive Solutions: Neil Busis, MD


The associate chair for technology and innovation at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine provided commentary on a study from AAN 2024 that examined the driving factors behind burnout in neurology departments. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"When you’re saying ‘what can we do to solve burnout?’ There are solutions at the society level, healthcare system level, your work unit level, and within yourself. And all of them are important."

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that is more common among medical professionals. It can be caused by excessive and prolonged stress, such as work-to-family conflict, unrealistic patient expectations, long working hours, organizational issues, poor communication among healthcare professionals, and emotional intensity, among others. Since individual practices and departments have unique constellations of burnout drivers, mitigating this phenomenon cannot be accomplished using a one-size-fits-all approach.

A cross-sectional survey study led by those at NYU Langone’s Grossman School of Medicine was employed to assess how different methods of recognition and appreciation are perceived by faculty (n = 77) and trainees (n = 13) in a neurology department. Among 90 respondents, both faculty and trainees highly rated transparent efforts to reduce their daily frustrations and inclusion in decision making that impacts them. Trainees were significantly more burned out than faculty (P = .046; Chi square test), but burnout was highly associated with intention to leave one’s current practice for faculty members (P <.001; Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test) while not for trainees (P <.89; Kruskal-Wallis rank sum test).

Led by Neil Busis, MD, results from the pilot study suggest neurology departments should prioritize implementing methods of recognition and appreciation, as they were highly rated by faculty and trainees. Busis, an associate chair for technology and innovation at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, claims that while this solution may not be a one-fix-all, it can certainly have an impact in specific circumstances. At the 2024 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, held April 13-18, in Denver, Colorado, Busis sat down with NeurologyLive® to discuss the events that led up to the pilot study, and some of the major systemic issues that lead to burnout. He spoke about the complexities of researching burnout, and why recognizing it is the first step towards improving conditions for faculty members and other employees.

Click here for more coverage of AAN 2024.

1. Hyman S, De Souza D, Balcer L, Busis N. Measuring burnout and practices of appreciation within a neurology department: identifying prevalence and shaping solutions. Presented at: 2024 AAN Annual Meeting; April 13-18; Denver, CO. ABSTRACT 003355
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