We don’t know what we’ll find in our research but deeply believe there is power in asking and listening.


Physician burnout is an epidemic.

In the U.S., one doctor commits suicide every day — the highest suicide rate of any profession.

Research has shown that physician burnout is also strongly correlated with medical errors, high turnover, and reduced health system performance. This deadly, damaging crisis demands an epidemiologic approach. While there have been studies on burnout, there still is not much insight into how to prevent and resolve the issue.

Over the next year, Lightning Bolt and partners will study the real roots of burnout and what changes can help end the epidemic.


The Research Challenge


Lightning Bolt Solutions is taking a major step toward understanding the crisis of physician burnout in this country through the Pathology of Burnout Initiative. We are committing to studying a million physician shift hours this year to look at the root causes of burnout and identify the policies that can help combat this national crisis.


The Physician Burnout Crisis By the Numbers



More than half of all physicians (54 percent) now show at least one symptom of burnout, up 10 percent over three years. (Mayo Clinic)


Emergency medicine is the most burned out specialty “with nearly 60 percent of ED physicians saying they feel burned out, up from half in 2013.” (AMA)


Stanford Medicine estimates that physician burnout costs their organization at least $7.75 million a year. (AMA)


20 percent of residents said they had fallen asleep while driving because of work-related fatigue. (UCLA)


“More than 7 percent of nearly 7,000 doctors had considered suicide within the prior 12 months, compared with 4 percent of other workers. About 400 a year go through with it.” (Reuters)


Burnout-related turnover across all U.S. physicians could be costing hospitals and health systems as much as $17 billion each year. (National Taskforce for Humanity in Healthcare)


Client Research Partners


We are actively looking for healthcare organization partners to help with this research. Find out how you can join the Pathology of Burnout Initiative.


Share your story


Are you a physician who has experienced burnout? We want to hear your story.

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