Review Article| Volume 167, ISSUE 2, P354-359, November 2022

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SGO and the elephant that is still in the room: Wellness, burnout and gynecologic oncology

Published:September 03, 2022DOI:


      • Burnout persists in GYN Oncology and affects both genders and APPs.
      • >60% of female GYN Oncologists and APPs felt overly stressed, overwhelmed or that life was unmanageable.
      • Over 40% of gynecologic oncologists screened positive for depression.
      • When compared to APPs, physicians are less likely to seek professional mental health care.



      To measure wellness and burnout among gynecologic oncology clinicians and identify trends and at-risk populations to inform future interventions.


      Gynecologic oncologist (GO) and advanced practice provider (APP) responses to the 2020 Society of Gynecologic Oncology State of the Society survey were analyzed. The Maslach Burnout Inventory criteria for burnout was used. Work-life balance was scored on a 5-point Likert scale. Chi-square tests were used to compare mental health factors and the prevalence of burnout. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for associations between burnout and gender.


      543 survey responses were included for analysis. Most GO (54%) and all APP respondents were female. Female GOs were disproportionately affected by burnout particularly in the Northeast (female(F): 40.9% vs male(M): 19.1%, p = 0.007) and South (F: 42.5% vs M:22.9%, p = 0.01). Burnout in female GOs over 40 was 1.79 (CI: 1.13–2.83; p-value 0.01) times higher than similarly aged males. Females in non-private practice experienced burnout 1.66 times that of males in similar positions (CI: 1.18–2.94; p < 0.0001). Female GOs reported the worst work-life balance across all 5 domains. APPs and female GOs experienced more stress and feeling overwhelmed compared to men. GOs were more reluctant to see a mental health professional (p = 0.0003) or take medication (p = 0.009) than APPs.


      Burnout in gynecologic oncology persists in both genders and is felt most acutely by female GOs. APPs are not immune and would benefit from inclusion in future research to mitigate burnout in healthcare clinicians.


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