Burnout among Emergency Physicians in Saudi Arabia: A Cross-sectional Study

Abdulmohsen Alsaawi, Khaled Alrajhi, Norah AlRasheed, Atheer AlSabhan, Dana AlTamimi, Majid Alsalamah


Background/ Objectives: Burnout, a state of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion, is typically evaluated by assessing levels of depersonalization (DP), emotional exhaustion (EE), and perceived personal accomplishment (PA). Burnout is usually associated with reduced career satisfaction and an increase in medical errors by healthcare providers. This study evaluated burnout in the emergency physicians in Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among all physicians attending a large national emergency medicine conference. Only those practicing for more than 1 year in any of the Arabian Gulf countries were included. We recruited 303 participants through a wellness booth on the exhibition floor, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory was used to electronically collect the data. Association and correlation between multiple demographic variables and risk of burnout were assessed.
Results: Only 265 participants (265/303) were eligible; most participants (60.8%) were in the 25–34 years age group, and 84.2% were males. The mean score (standard deviation) for EE, DP, and PA subscales was 2.51 (1.31), 2.09 (1.28), and 4.27 (1.18), respectively. Further, 156 (56.3%) participants were in the high-risk group, according to the EE or the DP subscale. Scores for DP, EE, and PA were not significantly different between genders, among age groups, job titles, or years of experience, but a negative correlation between participants' age and DP scores was observed (r = −0.13; two-tailed, p = 0.03).
Conclusions: The study suggest that risk for burnout in this sample was high. Regulators and medical directors must work to reduce the detrimental effects of burnout in emergency medicine providers.


Burnout; Emergency Physicians; exhaustion; Saudi Arabia.

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