A national survey published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2012 reported that US physicians suffer more burnout than other American workers. Some 45.8% of physicians were experiencing at least 1 symptom of burnout: loss of enthusiasm for work, feelings of cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment. In Medscape's current survey, when members were given the same criteria, the response was nearly as discouraging: 39.8% responded that they were burned out and 60.2% said that they were not. The 2 specialties with the highest percentage of burnout were those that dealt with severely ill patients: emergency medicine and critical care. Among the top 10 were most of the generalists: family physicians, ob/gyns, internists, and general surgeons. Surprisingly, pediatricians were among the least burned-out specialists, along with rheumatologists, psychiatrists, and pathologists.
--Carol Peckham, Medscape, on one reason to become a pathologist