Personality Traits and Burnout: A Survey of Practicing US Urologists

Gopal Narang, Kevin Wymer, Lanyu Mi, Christopher Wolter, Mitchell Humphreys, Karen Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the impact of personality traits and institutional factors on burnout among a population of practicing urologists. Methods: From 2017-2019 a voluntary survey was distributed to practicing urologists across the United States. The survey evaluated demographics, education, social factors, practice types and work satisfaction. Personality traits were evaluated using the Sheffield psychometric assessment. Burnout was assessed using the Maslach inventory and defined as a score of ≥27 on the emotional exhaustion domain or ≥10 on the depersonalization domain. Results: One hundred seventy-three urologists responded, of whom 86.7% were male, 88.1% Caucasian, and 53.5% self-identified as general urologists. 49.1% (85/173) met criteria for burnout. On univariate analysis, burnout was associated with taking call, a ≥51 hour/week work schedule, and using multiple EMRs. On the psychometric assessment, tendencies towards the personality traits resiliency, optimism, extroversion, and a team player approach were associated with lower rates of burnout. On multivariable analysis, a ≥51 hour/week work schedule remained associated with burnout (OR 2.27, 95% CI 1.08-4.91, P = .03), and physicians who were extroverted were less likely to have burnout (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.83-0.99, P = .03). Burnout significantly impacted all domains of work satisfaction. Conclusion: Based on survey data, approximately half of practicing urologists suffer from burnout and this affects work satisfaction. Personality factors, specifically tendencies towards resilience, optimism, extroversion, and a team player mentality, may be protective. Longer work hours were universally associated with increased burnout. Awareness of these risks and relationships can help develop strategies to identify and curtail burnout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-48
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Sep 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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