Relationship of Training in Acupuncture to Physician Burnout

Paul F Crawford, Jedda Rupert, Jeremy T Jackson, Stevan Walkowski, Christy J W Ledford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Physician burnout is an ongoing problem that affects both physician wellbeing and patient care. Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Studies have explored ways to prevent and alleviate burnout. Receiving training in acupuncture may reduce physician burnout.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to determine if acupuncture training is associated with less patient depersonalization and less emotional exhaustion among physicians.

METHODS: These self-reported data were collected from a cross-sectional survey of family physicians at the Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physicians 2017 conference. Physicians answered questions regarding their level of acupuncture training as well as questions about burnout (depersonalization and emotional exhaustion).

RESULTS: The overall response rate was 66% (325/492). Of these, 233 cases provided complete datasets. In a model controlling for years' practice and clinical pace, acupuncture training was significantly associated with decreased depersonalization, F (1, 194) = 5.82, P < .05.

CONCLUSION: Study data show an association between decreased physician depersonalization and acupuncture training, suggesting acupuncture training may be a helpful strategy to reduce family physicians' depersonalization of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-263
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Acupuncture/education
  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional/complications
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depersonalization/etiology
  • Family Practice/education
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians, Family/education
  • Self Report


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