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Kidney Week

Abstract: PO1393

The Sustainable Pediatric Nephrology Workforce Project (SUPERPOWER): A Pilot Study of Burnout and Resilience

Session Information

Category: Educational Research

  • 800 Educational Research


  • Halbach, Susan M., Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Pillutla, Kartik, Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, Austin, Texas, United States
  • Schwartz, Alan, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Seo-Mayer, Patricia, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, Virginia, United States
  • Weidemann, Darcy K., Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Kansas City, Missouri, United States
  • Mahan, John D., Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, United States

Physician well-being is an important contributor to both job satisfaction and patient outcomes. Rates of burnout among physicians vary by specialty, ranging from 35-70%. Among pediatric residents, longitudinal data demonstrates consistent rates of burnout around 50-60%, although little is known about burnout among pediatric subspecialty fellows. The degree of burnout among pediatric nephrologists specifically remains unknown. We sought to evaluate prevalence and predictors of burnout among U.S. pediatric nephrology fellows and faculty, and their interactions.


A multi-center pilot survey of United States pediatric nephrology training programs from February – April 2020. Burnout was assessed through abbreviated Maslach Burnout Inventory and predictors included demographic, job-related and career satisfaction questions. Other validated assessments included: quality of life, perceived stress, resilience and sleep.


A total of 30/34 available fellows and 86/102 faculty from 11 institutions (of 42 programs nationally) completed the survey. The prevalence of burnout was 13% among fellows and 16% among faculty. Demographic (age, gender, year of training, faculty rank, marital status) and program factors (fellowship size, faculty size, current block/rotation, vacation or weekend off timing) were not significantly associated with burnout. Faculty and fellows with burnout reported significantly lower quality of life (5.3 vs 7.9), higher perceived stress (2.4 vs. 1.4) and lower satisfaction with career choice (66% vs. 22%) and work life balance (28% vs. 0%), compared to those without burnout (p<0.05 for all). Other important factors associated with burnout included lower institutional support for wellness programs and lower satisfaction with both colleague and faculty support.


Larger studies are needed to explore if burnout is truly less prevalent among pediatric nephrology fellows and faculty than pediatric residents and graduate physicians. Future studies should explore how to promote well-being through addressing key factors such as overall learning/working environment, stress reduction, and building resilience.