Date of Award


Degree Name

Healthcare Administration


College of Business

Type of Degree


Document Type

Research Paper

First Advisor

Alberto Coustasse


INTRODUCTION: Physician burnout within the United States has been deemed an epidemic within the healthcare system with nearly 63% of physicians reporting burnout. The rate of burnout amongst Primary Care Providers (PCPs) is higher than other provider types at 70%. The presence of burnout affects the likelihood of medical errors, provider retention, and patient-provider communication. Fifty-six percent of PCPs that reported burnout also associated this burnout with their reason for leaving the practice. Physicians that are burnt out are less likely to find nonadherence in their patients, more likely to refer to specialists, and more likely to prescribe medications unnecessary.

PURPOSE OF STUDY: The purpose of this research was to analyze the effects of burnout amongst primary care providers and its impact on medical errors, provider retention, and patient-provider communication.

METHODOLOGY: The methodology for this qualitative study was a literature review as well as a semi-structured interview with an expert in managing primary care providers.

RESULTS: A 5% increase in the odds of a medical error was found if there was just a one-point increase in emotional exhaustion, which is one of the three aspects of burnout, among physicians. Primary Care Providers that reported burnout left the clinical medicine field at a higher rate than providers that did not report burnout. A survey was conducted of 6,695 United States physicians on if they were experiencing burnout, fatigue, or suicidal thoughts; of those participants, 10.5% reported making a major medical error, such as a mistaken diagnosis, technical error, or an error in judgment in the past three months.


Health services administration.

Health facilities – Business management.