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Each episode of AJP Audio brings you an in-depth look at one of the articles featured in that month’s issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry, the official journal of the American Psychiatric Association. Wide-ranging interviews with article authors cover the background, rationale, main findings, and future implications of the research.

Oct 1, 2020

Executive Editor Michael Roy speaks with Constance Guille, M.D., and Richard F. Summers, M.D., about their article on the prevalence of burnout and depressive symptoms among North American psychiatrists, demographic and practice characteristics associated with risk for these symptoms, and the correlation between burnout and depression. A related commentary on burnout by Dr. Summers also is discussed.

Dr. Guille is a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Board of Trustees Workgroup on Psychiatrist Well-Being and Burnout, and she is co-investigator on the Intern Health Study, a large prospective study examining stress and depression among medical trainees. She directs the Women’s Reproductive Behavioral Health Division at the Medical University of South Carolina and has published widely on topics including women’s health, stress, and depression.

Dr. Summers is clinical professor of psychiatry and senior residency advisor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He currently is APA treasurer, and he served as chair of the APA Board of Trustees Workgroup on Psychiatrist Well-Being and Burnout. He has published widely on topics including psychodynamic therapy training, the therapeutic alliance, psychodynamic formulation, positive psychology, and psychiatry residency training. He is a distinguished life fellow of APA.

  • Formation of the APA Board of Trustees Workgroup on Psychiatrist Well-Being and Burnout [3:03]
  • The distinction between burnout and depression, and whether there is a general agreement in the field on how these two constructs are related [4:44]
  • What previous research has shown regarding the prevalence of burnout among physicians in other specialties [6:37]
  • How the present study collected data, and what measures were used to quantify burnout and depression [9:04]
  • Demographic characteristics of the study population [11:58]
  • Demographic and work characteristics associated with burnout [13:01]
  • Demographic and work characteristics associated with depression [13:28]
  • Did any results surprise the authors? [13:43]
  • Study limitations [17:57]
  • Placing the present work in context with previous work [19:49]
  • Implications of the study for health care organizations and for workforce policy in general [21:58]
  • Discussion of Dr. Summers’ commentary on what burnout is and what it is not [25:53]
  • Recommendations for further work in this area [29:19]

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