System-Level Interventions for Addressing Burnout and Improving Professional Wellness for Orthopaedic Surgeons Quality, Safety and Value (QSVI)

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Maike van Niekerk
Kali Tileston
Maryse Bouchard
Alfred Atanda
Rachel Goldstein
George Gantsoudes
Cordelia Carter
Melissa A. Christino


Background: Burnout is a work-related syndrome characterized by feelings of depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and low personal achievement, which adversely affects orthopaedic surgeons and their patients. Burnout is increasingly being recognized as a systemic problem, resulting from excessive workloads, administrative burdens, inadequate job resources, and lack of work-life balance. Because of this, there is a growing movement among clinicians, researchers, national medical associations, and community organizations to develop system-level strategies to address it. 

Methods: We summarize evidence-based organizational strategies and approaches offered by national medical associations to assist institutions in addressing burnout in orthopedic surgery. In addition, we summarize key recommendations outlined in landmark burnout guidelines, such as those published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

Results: Among the recommendations made by researchers, national medical associations, community organizations, and landmark guidelines from the WHO and NAM, we identified seven key themes in order to address burnout, which include: (1) recognizing the presence of burnout and investing in strategies to measure and address it; (2) harnessing leadership support and commitment; (3) establishing and sustaining a culture of wellness and support; (4) promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace; (5) securing access to mental health care and promoting individual resilience; (6) reducing workplace inefficiencies; and (7) enhancing orthopedic surgeons’ autonomy and control.

Conclusion: In this paper, we review and suggest tangible system-level interventions for addressing burnout in orthopedic surgery. It is imperative that institutions invest in system-level interventions to address burnout in order to improve the work environment of orthopaedic surgeons, offer greater professional satisfaction, and facilitate better patient outcomes. 

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How to Cite
van Niekerk, M., Tileston, K., Bouchard, M., Atanda, A., Goldstein, R., Gantsoudes, G., Carter, C., & Christino, M. A. (2023). System-Level Interventions for Addressing Burnout and Improving Professional Wellness for Orthopaedic Surgeons: Quality, Safety and Value (QSVI). Journal of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, 5(1).
Quality, Safety, and Value (QSVI)