Burnout in Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments in the United States

Published:January 10, 2019DOI:


      We aimed to estimate the self-reported prevalence of burnout in chairs of academic radiology departments in the United States and identify factors associated with high burnout in chairs.

      Materials and Methods

      An anonymous cross-sectional online survey was conducted of members of the Society of Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments. Burnout was measured using the abbreviated Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey. Associations between survey participants’ characteristics and burnout were tested using Fisher's exact test and Wilcoxon rank sum test.


      Of the 123 chairs invited to complete the survey, 87 responded (response rate, 71%). The mean age of the participants was 58 years. The survey respondents had an average of 9 years of experience as department chair. The average number of work hours per week was 62 hours. Four participants (5%) of the academic chairs met all three criteria for high burnout including high emotional exhaustion, high depersonalization, and low personal accomplishment. Thirty-three participants (38%) had high emotional exhaustion and/or high depersonalization score. Low professional satisfaction score, low work-life balance satisfaction score, and low chair effectiveness score were significantly associated with high burnout. High emotional exhaustion and/or high depersonalization were significantly associated with numerous professional stressors. Lack of an institutional support group for chairs and lower number of faculty members in the department were significantly associated with burnout.


      A significant proportion of chairs of academic radiology departments are experiencing 1 or more symptoms of burnout. Efforts to address burnout in radiology chairs should be initiated promptly at the national, institutional, and departmental levels.

      Key Words

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