ESC survey reveals high burnout rates among cardiologists

A recent survey of European Society of Cardiology (ESC) members found at least one-third of respondents reported feeling mentally or physically exhausted. Moreover, 20% of men and 28% of women indicated they often felt intimidated, coerced, or belittled by superiors or colleagues, the ESC said.

The poll also discovered significant differences based on the gender and geographical location of the participants. Of the nearly 4,000 cardiovascular professionals who responded to the study, 59% were men and 41% were women; 69% were clinicians. Feelings of burnout were particularly common in respondents from Eastern and Southern Europe --especially among women. The survey results were presented this week at the annual meeting of the ESC in Barcelona, Spain.

Percentage of respondents reporting burnout
  Eastern Europe Southern Europe Northern Europe
Men 35% 31% 32%
Women 45% 41% 34%

In other results from the survey, the ESC found no difference in ambition among men and women. Both genders found it difficult to succeed without sacrificing personal and/or family commitments. They also found it difficult to seek better training opportunities and better standards, as well as focus more on the quality of care delivered versus quantity of care. In addition, men and women both want improved leadership and vision, as well as more opportunities for research and international connections, the ESC said.

The ESC also reported that 80% of the responding men and women wanted to be influential in making change happen within their department or institution. However, only about half said they feel encouraged to pursue leadership positions in cardiology or become involved in decision-making, according to the society.

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