ACC House Call: Laxmi Mehta, MD, on Burnout in Cardiology

April 2, 2020

Discussing a study examining rates of burnouts in cardiology with lead investigator Laxmi Mehta, MD, director of preventative cardiology and women’s cardiovascular health at Ohio State University.

New research presented the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC) is painting a picture of the current state of burnout among cardiologists and what it means for the field.

Presented by Laxmi Mehta, MD, director of preventative cardiology and women’s cardiovascular health at the Ohio State University, the study suggests 1 in 4 cardiologists might be experiencing symptoms of burnout and, while this may be lower than other specialties, warrants greater attention and investigation.

In an effort to evaluate the current state of burnout in the field, Mehta—who serves as chair of the ACC Membership Committee’s Clinician Well-being Workgroup—and a team of colleagues conducted an analysis of 2025 responses the mini-Z survey. Of the 2025 respondents, 35.4% reported burnout and 43.9% reported being stressed.

Results of the study indicated 23.9% of respondents were experiencing 1 or more symptoms of burnout, with 9.9% indicating they had chronic symptoms of burnout and 1.6% reporting being burned out to the point of needing to seek outside help. Examining age of respondents revealed that mid-career cardiologists were at the greatest risk of being burnt out, followed by early-(35.4%) and late-career (31.5%) cardiologists.

Investigators noted burnout was more common in women (45.3%) than men (33.5%). Cardiologists working more than 60 hours per week (41.5%) were also more likely to report burnout when compared to their colleagues working 40-60 hours (29.5%), and less than 40 hours (17.9%).

For more insight into the results of the study and the overarching impact of burnout in cardiology, we sat down with Mehta in a recent ACC House Call.