Relationship of training in acupuncture to physician burnout

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© J Am Board Fam Med: first published as 10.3122/jabfm.2019.02.180204 on 8 March 2019. Downloaded from http://www.jabfm.org/ on 17 April 2019 by guest. Protected by copyright. Background: Physician burnout is an ongoing problem that affects both physician wellbeing and patient care. Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Studies have explored ways to prevent and alleviate burnout. Receiving training in acupuncture may reduce physician burnout. Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine if acupuncture training is associated with less patient depersonalization and less emotional exhaustion among physicians. Methods: These self-reported data were collected from a cross-sectional survey of family physicians at the Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physicians 2017 conference. Physicians answered questions regarding their level of acupuncture training as well as questions about burnout (depersonalization and emotional exhaustion). Results: The overall response rate was 66% (325/492). Of these, 233 cases provided complete datasets. In a model controlling for years practice and clinical pace, acupuncture training was significantly associated with decreased depersonalization, F (1, 194) =5.82, P < .05. Conclusion: Study data show an association between decreased physician depersonalization and acupuncture training, suggesting acupuncture training may be a helpful strategy to reduce family physicians depersonalization of patients. (J Am Board Fam Med 2019;32:259 -263.).