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Apaydin EA, Mohr DC, Hamilton AB, Rose DE, Haskell S, Yano EM. Differences in Burnout and Intent to Leave Between Women's Health and General Primary Care Providers in the Veterans Health Administration. Journal of general internal medicine. 2022 Aug 1; 37(10):2382-2389.
BACKGROUND: Although they are a minority of patients served by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), women Veterans comprise a fast-growing segment of these patients and have unique clinical needs. Women's health primary care providers (WH-PCPs) are specially trained and designated to provide care for women Veterans. Prior work has demonstrated that WH-PCPs deliver better preventative care and have more satisfied patients than PCPs without the WH designation. However, due to unique clinical demands or other factors, WH-PCPs may experience more burnout and intent to leave practice than general PCPs in the VHA. OBJECTIVE: To examine differences in burnout and intent to leave practice among WH and general PCPs in the VHA. DESIGN: Multi-level logistic regression analysis of three cross-sectional waves of PCPs within the VHA using the national All Employee Survey and practice data (2017-2019). We modeled outcomes of burnout and intent to leave practice as a function of WH provider designation, gender, and other demographics and practice characteristics, such as support staff ratio, panel size, and setting. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 7903 primary care providers (5152 general PCPs and 2751 WH-PCPs; response rates: 63.9%, 65.7%, and 67.5% in 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively). MAIN MEASURES: Burnout and intent to leave practice. KEY RESULTS: WH-PCPs were more burned out than general PCPs (unadjusted: 55.0% vs. 46.9%, p < 0.001; adjusted: OR = 1.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10-1.55) but did not have a higher intention to leave (unadjusted: 33.4% vs. 32.1%, p = 0.27; adjusted: OR = 1.07, CI 0.81-1.41). WH-PCPs with intentions to leave were more likely to select the response option of "job-related (e.g., type of work, workload, burnout, boredom)" as their primary reason to leave. CONCLUSIONS: Burnout is higher among WH-PCPs compared to general PCPs, even after accounting for provider and practice characteristics. More research on causes of and solutions for these differences in burnout is needed.