INTRODUCTION · RESULTS · DISCUSSION · Appendix. Most oncologists work in clean, sterilized environments, such as clinics, hospitals, or health centers. They often have to work long hours. Oncologists who are part of a health network can enjoy more structured working hours than private doctors.
However, the internship period for doctors is particularly exhausting and interns have to work rotating shifts. Oncologists worked an average of 51 hours per week and treated an average of 51 outpatients per week. Most oncologists indicated that they would choose to return to being doctors (82.5%) and oncologists (80.5%) if they could review their professional and specialty choices. Hours per week dedicated to direct patient care were the dominant professional factor associated with burnout.
Radiation oncologists administer radiation therapy at the end of cancer care, and medical oncologists oversee the overall care of the cancer patient and administer the pharmacological part of cancer care. Oncologists are doctors and largely follow the same formal educational path as other doctors. Younger age and higher number of hours spent seeing patients each week were independently associated with exhaustion in all models. The survey included oncologists of all professional stages and types of practice, as well as a large sample of women oncologists.
Although no difference was observed in the overall prevalence of burnout in the practice setting in the multivariate analysis, many of the risk factors for burnout differed between AP and PP oncologists, suggesting that efforts to reduce burnout should be adapted to the practice environment. Although isolated studies have explored burnout in national samples of U.S. oncologists (most recently 200, 15, 16), little is known about the personal and professional characteristics associated with burnout and job satisfaction. A sample of 3,000 oncologists from 8,998 U.S.
oncologists was gathered in the membership file of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO; Alexandria, VA). After completing the fellowship, oncologists can apply for board certification or undergo additional training in subspecialties such as pediatric oncology and hematology. PP oncologists saw nearly twice as many patients per week, were more likely to receive compensation in an incentive-based model, and were less likely to focus their practice on a specific area of oncology. Of these, 1117 oncologists (75.0%) completed the full survey (613 electronic; 504 on paper) and 373 (25.0%) completed postcard surveys.