Burnout and career satisfaction in women neurologists in the United States

Lauren R. Moore, Craig Ziegler, Amy Hessler, Divya Singhal, Kathrin LaFaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Professional burnout is a growing problem among physicians. Neurology has been found to be one of the specialties with the highest prevalence for burnout. However, little is known about gender-specific risk factors. The objectives of this study were (1) to determine the prevalence of burnout among a sample of women neurologists in the United States and (2) to identify predictive factors leading to burnout. Materials and Methods: An online survey was distributed to 798 U.S. women neurologists through the closed Facebook group Women Neurologists Group. Burnout was assessed with the Mini-Z survey. Additional questions assessed current practice settings, family and childcare responsibilities, work-life balance, gender discrimination experiences, career satisfaction, and plans for career changes. Results: The survey received 181 responses, yielding a 22.7% response rate. Most respondents were 1-10 years post-training and 35.4% indicated they felt neutral or dissatisfied toward their current job; 42.6% of respondents reported symptoms of burnout. Working in a high stress environment, lack of control over the work schedule, a higher number of hours at work, and self-reported gender discrimination were each independent predictive factors for burnout. Having more children was associated with decreased likelihood of becoming a physician again, and less than a third of respondents with three or more children indicated they would become a physician again. While 91.1% of respondents considered themselves effective with electronic health record use, 56.9% indicated insufficient time for documentation. Conclusions: Professional burnout and career dissatisfaction have high prevalence in women neurologists and threaten the future of the neurology workforce. There is an urgent need for interventions to alleviate stressors associated with burnout and measures to reduce gender discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-525
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2019, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2019.


  • burnout
  • career satisfaction
  • neurology
  • work-life balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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